17 killed as truck carrying pilgrims plunges into ravine in Balochistan’s Hub

Published April 11, 2024
A truck carrying pilgrims plunged into a ravine in Hub district. — photo by author
A truck carrying pilgrims plunged into a ravine in Hub district. — photo by author

At least 17 people were killed while over 40 sustained injuries after a truck carrying pilgrims plunged into a ravine in Balochistan’s Hub district on Wednesday, officials said.

Hub Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Talha Wali confirmed the death toll and injuries to Dawn.com. He said the truck, carrying more than 50 people, was en route to the Shah Noorani shrine in Khuzdar from Thatta.

He said the incident took place at 10pm last night, adding that critically wounded persons had been referred to the Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital in Hub and Civil Hospital’s Trauma Centre in Karachi.

Earlier, Manan Baloch, the Edhi Foundation’s Hub in-charge, said that the rescue operation to retrieve the bodies and injured concluded Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Munir Ahmed told AFP that the truck was overspeeding and went out of the driver’s control while negotiating a turn.

In a statement issued earlier today, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.

He directed officials to provide the best health facilities to injured people.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also expressed deep grief at the high number of casualties and prayed for the families of the deceased. He also visited the Civil Hospital’s Trauma Centre and met with the injured persons.

Speaking to the media outside the facility, he said 40 people had been discharged so far while five were in critical condition. “All efforts are being made to provide the best medical facilities to the injured,” he added.

Separately, the president and prime minister extended condolences to the grieving families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

Road accidents with high fatalities are common in the country due to lax safety measures, poor driver training and decrepit transport infrastructure.

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

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

In January last year, 41 people were killed when their passenger bus, which was also loaded with containers of flammable oil, plunged into a ravine in Balochistan and burst into flames.


Additional input by Imtiaz Ali

Opinion

In defamation’s name

In defamation’s name

It provides yet more proof that the undergirding logic of public authority in Pakistan is legal and extra-legal coercion rather than legitimised consent.

Editorial

Mercury rising
Updated 27 May, 2024

Mercury rising

Each of the country's leaders is equally responsible for the deep pit Pakistan seems to have fallen into.
Antibiotic overuse
27 May, 2024

Antibiotic overuse

ANTIMICROBIAL resistance is an escalating crisis claiming some 700,000 lives annually in Pakistan. It is the third...
World Cup team
27 May, 2024

World Cup team

PAKISTAN waited until the very end to name their T20 World Cup squad. Even then, there was last-minute drama. Four...
ICJ rebuke
Updated 26 May, 2024

ICJ rebuke

The reason for Israel’s criminal behaviour is that it is protected by its powerful Western friends.
Hot spells
26 May, 2024

Hot spells

WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate...
Defiant stance
26 May, 2024

Defiant stance

AT a time when the country is in talks with the IMF for a medium-term loan crucial to bolstering the fragile ...