29 dead as passenger bus falls into ravine in Pakistan's Balochistan province - GulfToday

29 dead as passenger bus falls into ravine in Pakistan's Balochistan province


A general view of the wrecked bus is seen after it crashed along a mountainous area in Basima town of Balochistan province on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse

At least 29 people were killed on Wednesday when a bus plunged off the road into a deep ravine in southwestern Pakistan, hospital and government officials said.

The crash happened around dawn in Basima town in Balochistan province while the bus was travelling from Turbat city to Quetta.

Local police officer Asghar Ali said the driver lost control suddenly in Washuk town as the bus was traveling from Turbat, the second-largest city in Balochistan province, to Quetta, the province’s capital. Police were trying to collect details from the injured.

"The driver was navigating a turn in a mountainous area when the vehicle lost control and fell into a ravine," Ismail Mengal, a local government official said, giving a toll of 29 dead.

"We are still investigating the cause of the incident. It could be that the driver fell asleep or was speeding, which led to the accident." The driver died from injuries in the hospital, and more than 20 others were injured.

He said rescuers and police quickly responded and provided initial medical treatment to the injured passengers. Police transported the dead and injured to a hospital, where some of the injured were in critical condition. Local media pictures showed the wreckage at the bottom of a rocky ravine.

Busaccident-injured A military helicopter transports injured victims after a bus accident in Basima town of Balochistan on Wednesday. AFP

Noor Ullah, chief doctor at Civil Hospital Basima, told AFP that 29 bodies were taken there, including three women and two children.

In a statement, Sarfraz Bugti, the chief minister in Balochistan, expressed grief over the loss of lives, and he ordered the best possible medical treatment be provided to the injured.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in separate statements expressed sorrow over the deaths. Shahbaz has "expressed deep sorrow and grief over the tragic traffic accident," his office said in a statement.

Road accidents with high fatalities are common in Pakistan, where safety measures are lax, driver training is poor and transport infrastructure often decrepit.

The latest accident occurred three days after 13 members of a family were killed in a deadly collision between a van and a truck in Multan, a city in the eastern Punjab province.

At least 20 people were killed and another 30 were injured earlier this month in a similar crash. At least 17 pilgrims were killed and 41 injured in a crash in April as they travelled to a shrine in Balochistan's Hub district.

In January last year, 41 people were killed when their bus, which was also loaded with containers of flammable oil, careered off the road into a valley and burst into flames.


Related articles