Kallar Kahar bus tragedy claims over a dozen lives

Published June 18, 2023
Rescue workers and police officials examine an overturned bus on Lahore-Islamabad motorway near Kallar Kahar, on Saturday. Over a dozen people, most of whom hailed from Jhang and Sahiwal, lost their lives in the accident, which occurred as the bus was passing through the Salt Range.—Courtesy Rescue 1122
Rescue workers and police officials examine an overturned bus on Lahore-Islamabad motorway near Kallar Kahar, on Saturday. Over a dozen people, most of whom hailed from Jhang and Sahiwal, lost their lives in the accident, which occurred as the bus was passing through the Salt Range.—Courtesy Rescue 1122

RAWALPINDI: At least 13 people, including five women, were killed and 31 others injured when a bus veered off the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway and overturned near Kallar Kahar on Saturday, official and rescue sources said.

The incident came as a grim reminder of the February tragedy, when a bus had hit two cars and a truck before falling into a ravine near Kallar Kahar, leaving 14 members of a wedding party, including women and children, dead and 64 others injured. The apparent cause of that crash was a burst tyre.

This time, police said, driver lost control over the steering apparently due to a ‘brake failure’.

According to officials, two lanes of the motorway were closed for traffic after the accident.

It was around 3.30pm when the Jhang-bound bus (BBA452) was passing through Kallar Kahar and its driver lost control over the steering due to ‘brake failure’, with the result that it veered off the road and overturned on the opposite track, police sources said.

Thirty-one injured; most victims belong to Sahiwal, Jhang

According to police, the rescue operation was underway as the victims trapped in the wreckage were pulled out after cutting the bus and shifted to hospitals in Kallar Kahar and Rawalpindi.

Three young girls were also said to be among the injured.

The bus, which left Rawalpindi for Jhang, met with the accident when it was crossing the Salt Range, the police spokesman said.

Shortly after the accident, DIG (Motorway) Mohammad Yousaf Malik and Kallar Kahar police sector commander reached the spot as the rescue operation got underway. Initially, all the victims and survivors were rushed to Kallar Kahar hospital, from where eight of the injured were shifted to Rawalpindi hospital.

Arooj, Fatima, wife of M. Raza, Rohan, Shan, Zaheer Fatima, Ameer Bibi, Imran and Misha Bibi were among the dead.

Of them, Misha Bibi belonged to Rawalpindi, while the others hailed from Sahiwal and Jhang.

A woman, her two sons and a daughter belonging to Sahiwal were also among the deceased.

According to police, eight of the victims have been identified so far, while the identity of the remaining victims is still being ascertained.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2023

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