HYDERABAD: A tragic road accident on Monday resulted in the deaths of 10 daily wage earners, including nine women, and injured two more in Hyderabad. The head-on collision between a pickup van and a dump truck occurred near the Noonari village stop on Hyderabad-Tando Muhammad Khan Road.
As many as 13 persons were travelling in the pickup which was crushed by the truck. The vehicle was carrying 10 saleswomen and a salesman of Crispo and Baba Masala Company, which is based in the Tower Market area of Hyderabad, to Tando Muhammad Khan district. A daughter of one of the saleswomen who survived the accident was also travelling in the vehicle.
The sales team peddled door to door to sell spice mixes, noodles, pasta and other edible items. "The vehicle used to pick up the sales team from different areas of Hyderabad every morning starting from 9am. The team was then taken to a certain area to market the products," Arshad Ahmed, the transporter whose vehicles were hired by the company, said.
The deceased and injured were shifted to Liaquat University Hospital from where the bodies were handed over to the bereaved families after the completion of medico-legal formalities. Hospital sources have identified the deceased as 35-year-old Sajida, 30-year-old Hina, 25-year-old Farida, 23-year-old Shabana, 40-year-old Safia, 40-year-old Aneeta Kolhi, 35-year-old Nasreen, Rehana, Yasmeen and Zubair Ahmed.
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"I was travelling with my mother. Suddenly there was bang and I fell unconscious," recalled 11-year-old Sadaf, who was injured in the accident. Her mother, Nasreen, died in the accident. Sadaf's family belongs to the Kotri town of Jamshoro district while the other deceased, including Farida, whose marriage was scheduled to take place soon, lived in different parts of Hyderabad.
Shehzad, who introduced himself as relative of one of the deceased at Liaquat University Hospital, said that the sales team was paid a Rs250 commission on the sale of items worth Rs1,000. "Each of them could hardly earn around Rs6,000 to Rs7,000 a month."
The Sindh government has still not announced compensation for the victims. However, under Provincial Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2015, the families are eligible to claim Rs500,000 for each deceased person. The Sindh government compensates an injured according to the nature of the injury. The Act has approved between Rs12,500 to Rs250,000 for each injured person.
Meanwhile, according to the initial police report, the accident happened due to 'rash' and 'negligent' driving of the dump truck, whose driver escaped after the incident. The driver of the pickup, Abbass, is also missing. The police have impounded the dump truck and the proprietors of the company which owns the vehicle have also been identified. "... [the] dumper was coming from [the direction of] Tando Muhammad Khan district [and it] rashly and negligently dashed into the Suzuki pickup," states the report submitted by SSP Irfan Ali Bahadur to Sindh Inspector-General of Police Allah Dino Khawaja. The SSP confirmed the 10 deaths.
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Husri police station SHO Muhammad Ibrahim, in whose jurisdiction the incident happened, said that the FIR has not been lodged yet. He added that the police are waiting for the aggrieved families to register the case.
Peddlers are not registered as labourers and, therefore, are deprived of Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution and other benefits. The employers of peddlers do not insure the health and lives of their employees.