34 killed in DG Khan accident

Over-speeding bus carrying rammed into trailer


Our Correspondent July 19, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

DERA GHAZI KHAN:

At least 34 people were killed and over 41 were injured on Monday when an ill-fated passenger bus collided with a trailer truck on the Indus Highway in Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, officials said.

The bus, en route from Sialkot to Rajanpur, lost control due to over-speeding and slammed into the truck. The vehicle was carrying labourers heading back to their hometown to celebrate Eidul Azha with their families.

The rescue officials rushed to the site soon after the incident took place and began shifting the bodies and the injured to DGK Teaching Hospital. The hospital management confirmed that initially 18 bodies were brought in and added that more succumbed while under treatment. It is feared that the death toll may increase as some passengers sustained critical injuries.

Regretting the incident, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that at least thirty people have lost their lives in a traffic accident near Dera Ghazi Khan.

Read More: Accident after accident

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Interior minister Sheikh Rashid expressed sorrow over the incident.

Buzdar also directed the DGK commissioner to ensure quality medical treatment of the injured. “We stand with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. All our sympathies are with them,” the provincial chief executive said.

Interior Minister Shiekh Rashid prayed for the quick recovery of the injured and patience for family members to bear the trauma.

‘Feast turned into mourning’

Huge numbers of people have been crossing the country in recent days to return home to their families.

Pakistan has a terrible traffic safety record with thousands of accidents taking place every year due to speeding, bad roads, and poorly maintained vehicles.

Among the dead were five members belonging to the same family who were returning to their homes to observe the religious festival of Eidul Azha. Muhammad Tanveer, a relative of those killed in the accident, told the Express Tribune that his now-deceased younger brother, uncle, and three cousins worked in a factory in Sialkot and were eagerly looking forward to spending Eid holidays back home.

“At five o'clock in the morning, my brother called to inform me that he had crossed the Taunsa Barrage. 10 minutes later, to our shock, we found out the bus had met an accident,” Tanveer said, sobbing. “I can't believe it has happened to us. The joys of Eid have turned into mourning. We will never forget this tragedy.”

According to Commissioner DG Khan Dr Irshad Ahmed, the dead bodies were handed over to their families who have taken the bodies of their loved ones to their native areas. Most of the victims were from Muhammadpur, Fazilpur, Jampur, and Dera Kot areas of the Rajanpur district.

Faiz Mohammad, one of the injured passengers, has suffered serious head injuries. Recounting the tragedy, he told the Express Tribune that the vehicle was taking a turn near the bypass when an “explosion” occurred and added that he found himself in the hospital when he eventually regained consciousness.

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