BAHAWALPUR: Four schoolchildren died while 11 others and a motorcycle-rickshaw driver suffered injuries when a driver of a speeding trailer hit overloaded three-wheeler on Kalanchwala Road near Musafirkhana in foggy conditions on Saturday morning.

According to Muhammad Imran, an official of the Rescue 1122, when the rescuers reached the scene of accident, four of the rickshaw riders had died. They included Abdul Hadi, 10, Waseem, 13, and Allah Nawaz, 7, while a child who was stated to be 12-year old could not be identified.

Ten other children from the age of five to 15 and rickshaw driver Fayyaz Hussain, 34, suffered injuries and they all were shifted to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH).

The hospitalised schoolchildren were identified as Shahnawaz, 12, Rimsha, 13, Humera, 15, Asad, 6, two sisters Abeeha, 9, and Abeera, 5, Sobia, 14, Haseeb, 14, Anas, 9, and Samar, 8.

BVH Medical Superintendent Dr Tanveer Ahmed Shah declared an emergency at the hospital, calling all the available doctors and paramedics to attend the emergency cases of the injured children.

BVH director emergencies Dr Aamir Bokhari told Dawn the condition of the two children was critical.

District Police Officer Muhammad Faisal Kamran rushed to the site of the accident where he supervised the rescue operation.

The people who joined the rescue operation told Dawn by telephone that the motorcycle-rickshaw was overloaded with the schoolchildren and the trailer driver was speeding despite foggy conditions with low visibility. The identity of the driver could not be ascertained when this report was filed. He had managed to flee from the scene after the accident.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2022

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