Karachi/Lahore: At least 28 people were killed and 26 others injured in two separate road accidents in Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces Tuesday, authorities said.
Twenty people were killed and six injured in the first accident in which a passenger bus collided with an oil tanker on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway (M-5) in Punjab province, rescue and local administration officials said.
“In the first accident a passenger bus was travelling from Lahore to Karachi and near Sukkur when it collided with an oil tanker from the rear side at the Jalalpur Peerwala interchange. The apparent cause of the accident was the bus driver falling asleep,” Multan Deputy Commissioner Tahir Wattoo said.
He said the collision led to a big fire erupting in both vehicles and causing the death of 20 people on the spot as they got trapped in the passenger bus.
According to officials, the bodies of the deceased and all those injured were taken to Multan’s Nishtar hospital considering the better autopsy and treatment facilities.
Dr Amjad Chandio, Medical superintendent at Nishtar Hospital in Multan, Punjab, said that the process of DNA testing was being carried out to confirm identities of the deceased while the injured were under treatment.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed grief over the incident and prayed for the deceased and their families.
“I am saddened by the loss of 20 precious lives in the accident. My prayers are with the bereaved families,” he tweeted.
In the second accident, eight people, including women and children, were killed and at least 20 were injured when a passenger coach overturned on the motorway and plunged into a ditch near Rohri on the highway linking Karachi to the rest of the country.
Rescue officials said the coach was coming from Swat to Karachi when it overturned during a sharp turn and the driver apparently lost control and the vehicle plunged into a ditch.
An official belonging to Edhi Centre, an NGO working in the health sector and which was aware of the accident, said four women and two children were among the deceased.
The injured were moved to the Rohri Taluka Hospital where an emergency had been declared.
Road accidents on the super highway linking Karachi to interior Sindh and Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces take place frequently due to rash driving and lax checking of vehicle permits and safety measures in the passenger buses which are mostly privately owned.