BASIMA (Balochistan): The wrecked bus is seen after it plunged off the road into a deep ravine in this mountainous area. At least 28 people were killed in the accident.—AFP
BASIMA (Balochistan): The wrecked bus is seen after it plunged off the road into a deep ravine in this mountainous area. At least 28 people were killed in the accident.—AFP

QUETTA: At least 28 people, among them women and children, were killed and 23 others in­­jured when a bus plunged into a seasonal stream after hitting a roadside mountain in Washuk district of Balochistan, on Wednesday.

Officials said the bus with over 50 people on board was on its way to Quetta from Turbat when it met with the accident in the Kalgani area of Basima tehsil at around 5am.

Local administration officials said the bus went out of control after colliding with the big mountain and fell into the seasonal stream by breaking the railing of a bridge.

“Twenty-seven people died on the spot and 24 others were injured,” Basima Assistant Commi­ssioner Mohammad Ismail Mengal told Dawn over telephone.

Officials of the local administration along with Levies and rescue personnel rushed to the scene of the accident and recovered the bodies and the injured from the wreckage of the vehicle.

“We have shifted 27 bodies and 24 injured to a nearby health facility in Basima,” the assistant commissioner said, adding that the seriously injured passengers were airlifted to Khuzdar onboard a Pakistan Army helicopter.

The Medical Superin­tendent of Basima hospital, Dr Noor Mohammad said, “One of the victims succumbed to injuries at the hospital.”

He feared the death toll might increase as the condition of at least six other passengers was serious.

The bodies were being handed over to the heirs after identification.

Hospital officials said that three women and as many children were among the deceased, adding that the injured also included women and children.

Dr Niamatullah Kakar and Dr Amir Zeb, who were both assistant professors at the University of Turbat, were among the deceased. The UoT expre­ssed sorrow over the unexpected and tragic demise of the two faculty members.

A condolence reference will be held at the multipurpose hall of the university today (Thursday) to pay homage to the departed souls.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Balochistan Governor Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhel and Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti expressed grief over the tragic incident.

In separate statements, they expressed sympathies with the grieving families, saying they stood by them in the hard time.

CM Bugti issued directives to the authorities concerned to provide best medical facilities to the injured, and prayed for their speedy recovery.

Behram Baloch in Gwadar also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2024

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