CHAKWAL: At least 37 people — 30 students, six teachers and a school principal — were killed and more than 65 suffered serious injuries when a school bus overturned in Kallar Kahar area on Monday night.
According to police, the accident took place near Salt Range after brakes of the bus failed. The school principal was identified as Mr Hafeez.
Students of the Grammar School, situated in Millat Town of Faisalabad, accompanied by teachers, were returning to Faisalabad from Murree and Islamabad where they had gone on a picnic. They were on way to Faisalabad via Kallar Kahar, also a picnic point, when the tragedy struck and more than 100 students were on board the bus.
The bus overturned after its brakes failed, trapping all students and teachers inside it, DPO Syed Ali Mohsin told Dawn. Bodies of the victims and the injured students were taken out of the vehicle after cutting open body of the bus, Kamran Rasheed, district in-charge of Rescue 1122, said.
He said all bodies and the injured people were taken to Fauji Foundation Hospital, Kallar Kahar, and DHO hospital, adding that the rescue agency was shifting some of the critically injured people to hospitals in Rawalpindi and an emergency had been declared in all hospitals concerned to cope with the situation.
“We have received 10 bodies and 20 injured students,” Medical Superintendent of Fauji Foundation Hospital, Col Mohammad Abid, told Dawn.
He said the injured were being given the best possible treatment. “Two students are in critical condition. We are doing our best.”
Dr Azam Samore, of the DHQ Hospital, said that 20 bodies and 50 injured students had been brought to the hospital.
Ali Mohsin, the DPO, said that police had been put on high alert and they were helping and coordinating with Rescue 1122.
“We, along with the personnel of the Motorway Police, have tried our best to save maximum lives,” he said.
Parents and relatives of the students and teachers, jolted by the tragic news, were coming to Chakwal till filing of this report late in the night.
Some of the victims were identified as Arsalan Arshad, Abu Turab, Ahsan Raza, Noman Azam Noman Faryal, Mehtab, Tajammul, Zohaib Ali and school Principal Hafeez.