Tragedy on Motorway: School bus crash kills 37 in Kallar Kahar

Published: September 26, 2011

Parents protest outside Faisalabad’s Millat Grammar School following the crash. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Parents protest outside Faisalabad’s Millat Grammar School following the crash. PHOTO: EXPRESS The bus that overturned while travelling between Faisalabad and Kallar Kahar. The bus had a capacity for 70 people, but was carrying 105. PHOTO: EXPRESS 110 students were aboard the bus when its breaks failed. Nearly 45 students, mostly aged between 12 and 13 had received minor injuries, with up to 30 receiving serious injuries.

CHAKWAL: As many as 37 people, mostly schoolchildren, died on Monday as an over-loaded passenger bus overturned on the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, approximately an hour’s drive south of Islamabad.

The death toll is feared to increase as hospital sources said most of the 69 injured were in critical condition.

The 72-seater bus, which was carrying 107 passengers, skidded at the accident-prone Kallar Kahar due to brake failure. The bus was carrying 101 students and five staff members, including vice-principal Hafeez Anwar, of Faisalabad’s Millat Grammar School, who were on their way back from a school trip to Kallar Kahar and Khewra Salt Mines, widely-known as tourist destinations.

Twenty-six people died on the spot, Chakwal DPO Ali Mohsin said. Among those dead were students, the vice-principal and the driver and conductor of the bus. The injured, many of whom are said to be in critical condition, were taken to the Fauji Foundation Hospital in Kallar Kahar and the District Headquarters Hospital in Chakwal, 25 kilometres from the scene of the accident.

“The driver informed one of the teachers first about the brake failure. But the vice-principal told everyone to stay calm and prepare to jump out of the bus,” said injured tenth-grader Muhammad Bilal. But before the passengers could make their moves, the bus overturned. “As the bus was overloaded, some children were standing. They are the ones who died or are severely injured.”

(Read: Senate panel hearing – Highway authority speaks of financial crunch)

The first response came from the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), which ensures that an ambulance is available at every toll plaza along the M-2 motorway. FWO personnel arrived at
the scene with ambulances and a crane to lift the bus and allow rescue workers to pull out bodies and injured passengers. Rescue 1122 workers also arrived almost immediately and assisted FWO teams.

Meanwhile, in Faisalabad, all schools and government offices have announced a day of mourning. Millat Grammar School is a private school located in Millat Town, some 20 kilometres from Faisalabad city. Most students who attended the school belong to rural areas. Officials at the school said the bus had left Faisalabad at 6am. The students belonged to grades six, seven, eight, nine and ten.

(With additional reporting by Shamsul Islam in Faisalabad)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (64)

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Sep 26, 2011 - 10:45PM

    O God, no day is a good day. Very very sad..

    Recommend

  • Ahmed Shahid
    Sep 26, 2011 - 10:54PM

    This was the fault of school Principal Mr. Shafeeq that he organized the (BALOCH BUS) greedily and saved about 70,000 rupees but can he fill the amount of the lives of students.

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  • Haris
    Sep 26, 2011 - 10:57PM

    Inna Lillah e Ilahi Wainna Elaihi rajioon! May Allah Bless their souls…

    Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Sep 26, 2011 - 10:59PM

    What a tragic accident! May God, in His infinite mercy, give strength to the bereaved families to cope with their loss.

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  • Sep 26, 2011 - 11:08PM

    What! 115 students and teachers on a bus!!!!

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  • Santosh
    Sep 26, 2011 - 11:15PM

    110 people on board the bus!!! If the number is true, the school obviously should be called to account for putting children at risk like this. No school trip is worth it if children’s safety cannot be guaranteed. No wonder the driver was unable to control the vehicle if it was so overloaded.

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  • M Ali Khan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 11:53PM

    “The students were then asked to recite prayers for the their safety when the bus overturned.”

    tragic twist of fate.

    may the departed souls rest in peace, and may their loved ones recover from this horrible loss.

    Recommend

  • Aamir
    Sep 26, 2011 - 11:56PM

    What a tragedy, my heart goes out to the famlies that lost their loved ones (Inah lilah hay waa inah elehay rajoon)

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  • Balochistan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:38AM

    aah so heart-breaking :(
    May God rest their souls in peace and give strength to the families to bear this tragic loss ..

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  • Sep 27, 2011 - 12:39AM

    very sad indeed :(

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  • Everlast
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:43AM

    RIP dear children!

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  • Hidden
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:50AM

    Goes to show, an overdose of anything can be fatal. Like in this case the over capacity of the children in the bus resulted in break failure and ultimately it toppling over. Nothing but prayers can be said for these children. May Allah bless them all with a quick recovery.Recommend

  • A M Khan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:51AM

    ET atleast correct the spelling of BRAKEs. . .Read before you upload such a sensitive news

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  • Muzamil
    Sep 27, 2011 - 1:16AM

    Where is this school??

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  • Muhammad Hafeez
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:02AM

    yah Allah jo buch gaiy hain un ko apnay hifzo o iman mein rakhna (ameen)

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  • usman
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:22AM

    poor parents and families…

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  • Danish Shafi
    Sep 27, 2011 - 3:59AM

    Strange….this is the first time i have seen a typical sick local highway bus on motorway.

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  • B
    Sep 27, 2011 - 4:20AM

    My heart goes out for the kids. When I was a kid I was involved in a serious accident. The after effects ( PTSD ) still persists.

    I wish we in Pakistan have more safety measures including annaual mandatory car checks and emession checks etc.

    May Allah bless them all. RIP

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  • amir jafri
    Sep 27, 2011 - 4:55AM

    Hundreds of children from Urdu (read poor) schools die in similar accidents in Pakistan day in and day out…The lightening speed with which all attention and sympathy by the establishment has been lavished on this is simply sickening. While all children are dear to us as Pakistan’s children, I wish such double standards are never applied to “theirs” and “ours”…

    Pakistan’s biggest issue is that it has inherited the twin evils of the caste system of the hindus and the class system of the West….Until we rever wholeheartedly to Islam and Islam alone we will continue to wallow in the mud of “modernism”

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  • Lateef Khan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 5:41AM

    Not only school trips, we need health & safety rules for all types of transport!

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  • jamal
    Sep 27, 2011 - 7:09AM

    @Santosh:
    Common … you Indians should be ashamed of making such remarks. Similar incidents and accidents happen in India all the time. You should better be worried about them.

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  • Sep 27, 2011 - 7:27AM

    May their souls rest in peace =(

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  • amjad
    Sep 27, 2011 - 7:43AM

    So tragic!!! Parents do not raise children to die in vain. Pakistan has gradually, drifted into a lawless society. Unfit vehicles and overloading is just one example. Even, if there are laws, they are used for extortion. Good and Evil, flows from “Top to Bottom”, unless ther is leadersship, which truly cares, nothing will change. May be the country go0t the leadership, it deserves!!!

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  • Roger
    Sep 27, 2011 - 7:44AM

    May their soul rest in peace.

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  • Jehangir
    Sep 27, 2011 - 8:11AM

    Tragedy of Tragedy. May Allah have some mercy on us.

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  • Nasir
    Sep 27, 2011 - 8:29AM

    The quality of the bus as depicted by the post accident photographs is the first matter of concern. How come they hire such substandard bus by putting in risk the precious lives of childrens to save some bucks. The school and other authorities on the motorway should be inquired regarding the number of passengers on board and the quality of the bus.

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  • Shaesta
    Sep 27, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Sad n tragic .

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  • Iqbal Public School 66 J.B Dhandrah
    Sep 27, 2011 - 8:43AM

    Aslam O Alikam,

    We feel hardly grief on this a irreparable loss. May Allah keep the souls in rest
    and patios to the parents.

    This is accident no body is responsible…It was will of Allah..

    May Allah Blessed our CountryRecommend

  • Ather Alam
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:25AM

    InnalillaheWarajeoon…..After Almighty’s will, the only reason for this tragic accident is the over loaded bus(107) than the capacity of the bus (72).
    May God give all of them Rest In Peace…..

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  • asim
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:50AM

    may Allaha keep their soule in peace, and gave thier parents patience power to bear such a huge loss…!

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  • Nabeel Iqbal
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Very Bad NewS :’(

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  • sajid
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:52AM

    em very depressed after hearing this:((((((((((

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  • Yousaf
    Sep 27, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Why our famous motorway police allowed an overloaded buss to travel on motorway? Did they check the Driver’s age, License & Fitness Certificate of the Buss..?

    This what we are giving to our future generations. Kids are just kids – they can’t differentiate good and bad….these are us who are responsible to protect them.

    Learn a lesson.. never send your kid on school/college trip unless you are sure about their safety and well being.

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  • A J Khan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Extremely depressing. A very big loss. May Allah Bless the departed souls and give strenght to the parents and families to bear the loss with fortitude.

    Schools should have been mindful of the fact that saving money at the cost of lives of children which is a criminal act.
    Parents failed to check the arrangements made by the School.
    Police failed to check the overloading of bus on Highways/Motorway.

    Recommend

  • muslim
    Sep 27, 2011 - 11:22AM

    a very sad event! Government must make a policy to prevent similar havocs to get repeated again!

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  • student of millat grammer school
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:02PM

    this is the fault of Mr.Shafeeq.he is responsible for the deaths of students of my school and my hardworking teachers.this was a tragic accident.

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  • Bilal
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:17PM

    Inna Lillah e Ilahi Wainna Elaihi rajioon! May Allah Bless their souls…

    “The students were then asked to recite prayers for the their safety when the bus overturned.”
    tragic twist of fate.
    may the departed souls rest in peace, and may their loved ones recover from this horrible loss.
    O God, no day is a good day. Very very sad..

    Recommend

  • faisal kaleem
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:32PM

    the school principal should be held responsible for the tragic incident. his negligence for hiring a substandard 72 seater bus for 107 passengers mostly children just for saving money and putting the life of passengers at risk. this clearly predicts that the principal was not concerned about the safety of the children for the trip rather he was more into a low cost school trip. normally extra circular activities organised by schools are charged from the parents.

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  • maxim
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Not doubt the bus was not in good condition and even it was over loaded. We see more bad vehicles moving on the roads in our country loaded with triple the capacities they have. I hold responsible the motorway authorities whose people let the bus enter on the motorway showing “leniency” the word used by motorway spokesperson. Why they allowed the vehicle to enter on the motorway which was so much overloaded? The Millat school administration is also equally responsible for this tragic incident who saved the money and caused so many innocent kids to lose their lives. I feel so sad and convey my condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families. May Allah give courage to the families who lost their loved ones. Amen

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  • maxim
    Sep 27, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Not doubt the bus was not in good condition and even it was over loaded. We see more bad vehicles moving on the roads in our country loaded with triple the capacities they have. I hold responsible the motorway authorities whose people let the bus enter on the motorway showing “leniency” the word used by motorway spokesperson. Why they allowed the vehicle to enter on the motorway which was so much overloaded? The Millat school administration is also equally responsible for this tragic incident who saved the money and caused so many innocent kids to lose their lives. I feel so sad and convey my condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families. May Allah give courage to the families who lost their loved ones. Amen

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  • jurjen
    Sep 27, 2011 - 1:57PM

    as a father I feel sorry for your losses. No parent deserves to get this terrible message. I wish the survivors a full recovery from this very traumatic experience.

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  • FJ
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:12PM

    very tragic!!! there should be CCTVs and vigilant motorway police to take strict action against overspeeding. My heart goes out to the parents of the children…pray no parents have to bury their child :(((((((

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  • Sheikh Azeem
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:17PM

    What a tragedy, my heart goes out to the famlies that lost their loved ones (Inah lilah hay waa inah elehay rajoon)

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  • uk
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:38PM

    very sad and tragic

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  • Faisel Hafeez
    Sep 27, 2011 - 3:42PM

    May Allah Bless the Souls of these little Angels, and the give their loved ones the strength to bear this loss.
    This should be a wake call to the concerned authorities to strictly implement the laws, which I am sure must exist, To issue Fitness Certificates for Road Worthiness of Public Transport.

    Recommend

  • Asim
    Sep 27, 2011 - 5:15PM

    Inna Lillah e Ilahi Wa Inna Elaihi Rajioon! May Allah bless their souls!
    Today all are very sad and environment is sad too on this irrepairable loss..little kids/angles but it is the will of Allah who is the owner of all. May Allah give patience to all the parents.
    For Gods Sake, always check and act upon health and sftey measures as these are in our benifit. To travell on motorway good tyres, good breaks, good engine condition is required. On such localities, expert and used to drivers are required. School principal is responsible to arrange such a transport to save money. It is the negligence of motorway police too to ignore the overloading as it is not allowed there. Responsbiles should be punished to be a lesson for others.
    *Always use the best transport and the expert drivers (who already have travelled the area many times) for such tours.Recommend

  • Mohammad Zakaria
    Sep 27, 2011 - 5:39PM

    We bring up a child second by second and a breath by breath. I weep even to think of a child’s death in vain and here we have lost so many. even some of the injured children will live a life of misery and disability. Extremely sad. Extremely depressing. Someone responsible must be taken to task. This is not a simple matter to be brushed aside. I wish someone in our ruling clique takes notice. Motorway police is also responsible for this tragedy. Why do they allow overloaded buses?

    Recommend

  • yo yo maan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Owners of Millat school should be hanged for this mismanaged trip…Recommend

  • Shahrukh
    Sep 27, 2011 - 6:58PM

    The Millat School management should be brought to justice. Packing 107 passengers in a fake-license bus and running it on the motorway is insane!

    Recommend

  • Fgafur
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:22PM

    As long as I read these all news and comments now one talked about the life of that bus.
    How old that BUS was????????????????????

    another question……… Do we have a law for the life of any vehicle??????????

    If Law is there (I think there is no such LAW) WHO WAS TO IMPLEMENT IT? ARE REPONSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On the entry points what was the MOTOR WAY POLICE doing if that vehicle was now allowed?

    Media brothers…………. PLEASE DO SOMETHING TO IMPLEMENT OR MAKE LAW FOR THE LIFE OF ANY VEHICLE ON OUR ROADS.

    It will help us to reduce traffic and bring quality vehicles and drivers…..

    Look forward for your help……………. i’m sure/praying we do not have that kind of incident again to any of our kids, brothers, sisters and elders…………………..

    Recommend

  • Hamy
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:29PM

    Crying !

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  • adnan alam khan
    Sep 27, 2011 - 10:13PM

    this has happen in past and this will happen in future . why the motorway police allowed overload bus to go on motorway?we Pakistani as a nation don’t care about law.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Sep 27, 2011 - 10:55PM

    Inna Lillah e Ilahi Wa Inna Elaihi Rajioon! May Allah bless their souls!
    I have no words to say about such tragic incident which happened due to money making habit of private school owners. The owner of Millat Grammer School Faisalabad should be arrested for this irrepairable loss n he should not be allowed to run school unless he does not support financially atleast Rs.100,000 to each lost student’s family. Also I ask Mr. Rana Sana Ulllah, Law Minister of Faisalabad to make a law about vehicle’s life which can enter on road as this bus was 37 years old. Also an inquiry should made that how this much old n bad condition Bus got fitness certificate. Our CM Shehbaz Sharif should also visit faisalabad n morally support the families whom loved ones has lost lives in this sad incident.

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  • Sep 28, 2011 - 12:18AM

    It is really very tragic moment that cannot be forget and never erase from our minds.

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  • Sep 28, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Two children are from our neighbors, who are not with us now.
    May Allah keep the souls in rest
    and patience to their parents.

    Recommend

  • Zebedee
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:22AM

    An overladen bus, over-speeding with faulty brakes! Utter stupidity at another level. My condolences to the families affected in this tragedy.

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  • dehlavi
    Sep 28, 2011 - 5:25AM

    My to heartfelt condolences to the loved ones these children left behind. May God give them the strength to bear this unimaginable loss.

    Recommend

  • Ali Mardan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 8:26AM

    Every year thousands of our fellow Pakistanis lost their lives in traffic accidents. Though it is not possible to avoid these accidents completely but there are certain important points which can minimize the risk of traffic accidents. I would just mention the most important one – the driver and his driving permit, who is always responsible for safety of passengers. It has been noticed that majority of the drivers are not skilled and not fully aware of the traffic rules. Any unskilled and unaware of traffic rules can get his driving permit only for few hundred rupees. While on-road, these drivers not only risking his own life but also lives of hundred and thousand of traffic users.
    Rules and regulations for aquiring driving permit exists but no one bother to implement or follow it. Recommend

  • Muhammad Waqas Javed
    Sep 28, 2011 - 11:08AM

    very very sad Hum sub ko bohat dook howa hai. Allah sub k maa baap ko honsla dayRecommend

  • Muhmmad Akmal
    Sep 28, 2011 - 3:09PM

    May Allah give us the direction of right path and may Allah also ull out back the all troubles of Pakistanies and May My Beloved country may be a peacfull country for all the pakistanies so that they can live and earn with no fear and fruad.

    Recommend

  • Bushra Rana
    Sep 28, 2011 - 4:30PM

    salam.
    What a tragic accident! May God, in His infinite mercy, give strength to the bereaved families to cope with their loss.
    May Allah Bless the Souls of these little Angels, and the give their loved ones the strength to bear this loss.
    This should be a wake call to the concerned authorities to strictly implement the laws, which I am sure must exist, To issue Fitness Certificates for Road Worthiness of Public Transport
    Extremely depressing. A very big loss. May Allah Bless the departed souls and give strenght to the parents and families to bear the loss with fortitude.
    Schools should have been mindful of the fact that saving money at the cost of lives of children which is a criminal act.
    Parents failed to check the arrangements made by the School.
    Police failed to check the overloading of bus on Highways/Motorway
    We feel hardly grief on this a irreparable loss. May Allah keep the souls in rest
    and patios to the parents.

    May Allah Blessed our Country thnk BushraRecommend

  • Maham
    Sep 28, 2011 - 5:42PM

    @jamal: your comment about Santosh was truly heart-breaking. He is probably as Pakistani as you. Just because he has a Hindu name does not automatically imply he is Indian. And that is not even the point. There was nothing wrong with his comment. This forum should be used if you have something productive to say. Instead you are turning it in to a cyclical finger-pointing forum.

    Recommend

  • Irresponsible
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:07PM

    It’s about time schools/collegers/universities started getting their act together and pay more attention to security/safety of students, whether they are inside or outside of premises on their responsibility – instead of just earning bucks and running a showcase college… it wasn’t the bus peoples responsibility – rather they should have ensured that the bus was fit to travel & ensure no over-loading isn’t done…. its not only sad but it gets me mad that people are so careless & irresponsible!!

    Recommend

  • maryamgulzar
    Sep 29, 2011 - 3:20PM

    may therir soul rest in heaven and therir parents recover as early as possible ameen

    Recommend

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