BHAKKAR: Seven people, including six female students, died while two others suffered injuries when a speeding bus crashed into a rickshaw near Sarai Muhajir, Bhakkar on Saturday.
According to police, the girls were on their way home after appearing in the examinations. They were students of matriculation.
After the accident, Rescue 1122 workers reached the site and shifted the bodies and injured to a nearby hospital. All deceased and injured belonged to Chak 57-58.
Police said that the bus rammed into the rickshaw near a petrol pump in Sarai Muhajir, killing seven people and injuring two. The deceased were identified as Iqra Rafiq, Sawera Shafiq, Ifat Ahmed, Mariyam Ashraf, Mehreen Yaqoob, Sobia Arshad, and rickshaw driver Imran.
Two students named Sana Perveen and Sania Batool suffered injuries and were rushed to the DHQ Bhakkar from where Perveen was referred to the Nishter Hospital due to her critical condition.
After the accident, angry protesters set the bus on fire and blocked the road for traffic. Mianwali Muzaffargarh Road remained blocked for five hours.
Yaqoob, the father of Mehreen, said today six families are mourning the deaths of their beloved daughters. "Our daughters had to travel more than 30 kilometres to appear in examinations. If the examination centers were in the village they wouldn't have to travel long distance. "Why schools do not set up the examination centers in the village."
Yaqoob asked why teachers are not allowed to go with students. He added that on a self-help basis, students went to Government High School 47 for the examination.
The father of Iqra Rafiq said that today he lost his two daughters. "One is my daughter and the other is my niece and I am extremely sad and want the government to punish the driver for his reckless driving."
He pointed out that the condition of roads is quite pathetic and most roads are two way. Moreover, if the examination center was set up in the village, our daughters would have been alive today, he said. Stern actions should be taken against the Rana Jahanzaib Transportation Company, he added.
Talking to The Express Tribune, injured student Sania Batool said that it was a miracle that she was alive. “It was a terrible accident. I am deeply sad due to my friends' death. We were cheerful as we were heading home after appearing in Chemistry exams."
A case has been registered on the complaint of the father of deceased Sobia Arshad against five people, including Rana Jahanzaib Transport Company owner Jahanzaib, bus driver Mohammad Iqbal and three others.
Bhakkar Deputy Commissioner Captain Waqas Rasheed issued orders to Bhakkar Assistant Commissioner and Road Transport Authority Secretary Talha Saeed to impose a ban on the entry of Rana Jahanzaib Transport Company in Bhakkar.
Saeed issued the notification and banned the company for an indefinite period in district Bhakkar.
Bhakkar CEO Education Mian Riaz Ahmed also visited the houses of the deceased students for condolence.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said that teachers were not at fault as it was not their responsibility to take children to school for exams. "I have issued an order for setting up of examination centers at Sarai Muhajir."
DPO Bhakkar Shaista Nadeem said that she visited the crime scene and a case has been registered. "Stern action will be taken against the driver and other people for their negligence. Raids are being conducted to arrest the suspects."