Sunday Jan 29, 2023
LASBELA: The death toll of the ghastly bus accident in Lasbela has reportedly risen to 41 as the said number of bodies were recovered from the ill-fated bus that careened into a ravine near Chinki stop in the Bela area of the Lasbela district this morning, Geo News reported.
Apart from the deaths, three people were taken out of the bus alive but injured by the completion of a rescue operation at the site of the accident. One of the injured died shortly, while the two survivors were in serious condition.
The passenger bus with at least 48 on board was on its way to Karachi from Quetta when it fell into a ravine and caught fire in the early hours of Sunday.
Bela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum Nadeem said that the rescue operation had been completed.
Sharing the number of people on board the bus and casualties, Nadeem said that 40 bodies were taken out of the wrecked bus. He said that the bodies were unidentifiable. He said that DNA testing will be done for the identification of the deceased, while the injured passengers were being shifted to Civil Hospital, Lasbela.
Earlier, Nadeem said that the rescue workers initially faced obstacles as it was dark in the morning due to the cold weather.
Meanwhile, the police said that the accident happened due to speeding as the bus went out of the driver's control and was careened into the ravine. They said that teams of the fire brigade, rescue services and law-enforcement agencies' personnel arrived at the site of the accident and launched a rescue operation.
Efforts to completely douse the blaze were underway, they added.
The charred brown husk of the vehicle chassis smoked on a dry riverbed under the bridge on Sunday, according to video released by the provincial government.
A team of men used heavy machinery to move the twisted metal aside and pull out the burnt remains, which were then shrouded in white cloth.
Head of the local rescue service Asghar Ramazan told AFP the bus had been loaded with containers of oil.
"When the bus fell down, it immediately caught fire," he said. The oil "caused the fire to flare up so much that it was difficult to control", he added.
"It is feared that the driver may have fallen asleep," Anjum said, also mentioning the possibility he had been speeding during the long-distance trip.
He spoke about investigating the causes of the accident.
In a similar incident earlier this month, a five-month-old child was killed while 16 other passengers sustained injuries when a Muzaffarabad-bound bus plunged into a ravine in the Batrasi area in Mansehra.
SHO Garhi Habibullah had said the police, with the help of Rescue 1122 personnel, shifted the injured to a nearby hospital where the condition of five was stated to be critical.
— Additional input from AFP