41 dead as passenger coach falls into ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela: official

Published January 29, 2023
Rescue operation underway to pull out passengers from under a coach in Balochistan’s Lasbela. — Photo by author
Rescue operation underway to pull out passengers from under a coach in Balochistan’s Lasbela. — Photo by author
The photo shows the reins of a passenger bus after it fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela on Sunday. — Photo by author
The photo shows the reins of a passenger bus after it fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela on Sunday. — Photo by author

At least 41 people were killed after a passenger coach fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela on Sunday morning, according to officials.

Lasbela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum, while confirming the incident, told Dawn.com that the vehicle, with nearly 48 passengers on board, was travelling from Quetta to Karachi.

“Due to speeding, the coach crashed into the pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela. The vehicle subsequently careened into a ravine and then caught fire,” he said.

Anjum added that three people, including a child and a woman, have been rescued alive and moved to Civil Hospital, Lasbela. However, one of the injured persons succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

The officer said the bodies have been moved to the Edhi mortuary in Karachi.

He added that the bodies recovered from the wrecked bus were unidentifiable and DNA testing will be done for the identification of the deceased.

In a statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow and grief over the lives lost. He offered condolences to the bereaved families and prayer for the victims, Radio Pakistan reported.

The premier directed the authorities concerned to provide the injured with the best medical facilities.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo also expressed grief and sorrow over the lives lost in the accident. He directed the district administration to provide the injured passengers with health facilities.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah expressed grief over the tragedy and extended condolences to the bereaved families.

Ramshackle highways, lax safety measures and reckless driving contribute to Pakistan’s dire road safety record.

Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.

In June last year, at least 22 people were killed, including nine members of a family, when a passenger van fell into a ravine near Qila Saifullah district of northern Balochistan.

The van, carrying 23 passengers and en route to Zhob from Loralai, fell into the 200-foot-deep ravine when it reached the Akhtarzai area.

The lone survivor — a 13-year-old boy — was taken to hospital in a critical condition, said Hafiz Muhammad Qasim Kakar, the deputy commissioner of Qila Saifullah.

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