KHUZDAR: At least three people were burnt to death and 12 were injured in a collision between a passenger coach and a motorcycle near Uthal, Lasbela, early on Thursday morning.

Officials said the coach carrying 28 passengers, including women and children, was on its way to Quetta from Karachi when the tragic incident occurred.

The vehicle collided with the motorcycle, which was reportedly transporting Iranian oil, in the Royaro area between Bela and Uthal on the Quetta-Karachi national highway.

At least 10 passengers saved their lives by jumping off the coach, but three, including the motorcyclist, were burnt to death.

The 12 injured also included women and children.

Lasbela SSP Naveed Alam said the fire was brought under control in the wee hours of Thursday, and all injured were shifted to the district hospital and later to Karachi for treatment.

SSP Alam also told Dawn.com that while the cause of the fire could not be ascertained, eyewitnesses attributed the accident to speeding and reckless driving.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti expressed grief over the accident and ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident.

“Rescue operations began immediately, and seven of the injured passengers were taken to the hospital,” read a statement posted on the official X account of the government of Balochistan.

“The accident, which was caused by overtaking and led to a loss of life.”

Iranian oil smuggled into Pakistan is often transported from Blaoch­istan’s border areas on vehicles, including motorbikes, cars and buses.

The movement of oil poses grave risks for vehicles and passengers and has also resulted in major catastrophes.

In January 2019, 27 people were killed when a bus collided with a truck loaded with oil drums and caught fire near Lasbela Cross.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2024

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