Sunday, August 13, 2017
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Six of a family burn to death in Karachi van fire

The vehicle burst into flames after its gas cylinder exploded: rescue officials

KARACHI: A Sunday picnic turned into a horrific tragedy as six of a family were burnt to death while five others were injured as their van caught fire in Garden area of the city. 

Rescue officials said at least six people, including children, were burnt to death and five wounded when their van caught fire early morning near a zoo.

As the van caught fire, people passing by began dousing the flames themselves and rescued the trapped passengers. 

Police officials said the van's gas cylinders are intact and believe short-circuiting could be behind the fire. However, they are yet to determine the exact nature of the fire as investigations are under way.

The van's passengers – 11 in total – were on the way to a picnic, according to the injured family members. There were four children inside the van when it burst into flames.

The driver, who had earlier fled the scene, has now been arrested, said SSP city. Police had after the incident also detained the driver's brother and father in a bid to pressure him to return. 

The driver, Fahad, claimed that he tried to rescue passengers from the car but failed. Worried, he fled the scene.

An FIR of the incident is yet to be registered. 

Officials at the scene explained that four of the van's passengers were pulled out of the vehicle in time, but added that they have suffered severe injuries and have been shifted to Jinnah Hospital.

'Uncle told me to open the door'

Two passengers, who made out alive, were able to speak to

"I urge everyone from my family, who is watching television right now, to reach here and help us," one of the passengers said. "The fire brigade got here after two hours; they were late," he added.

"Right after we figured out the van was on fire, my chachoo (uncle) told me to open the door. It was then that it exploded," explained another victim — a teenager.

While the victim's relatives had reached the scene, they were unable to comment on the matter due to shock and grief.

Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal took notice of the incident and directed Karachi's additional inspector general to submit a report. 

CM orders committee formation 

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ordered Transport Minister Nasir Shah to form a committee to probe the incident. 

The committee will determine whether the van which caught fire was fit enough to be on the road.