Ten people were killed while 11 others were injured in a head-on collision between a passenger van and a coach on Mehran National Highway early on Sunday morning.
According to sources, the van was travelling to Thari Mir Wah from Karachi when it collided with the coach, which was en route to Karachi from Punjab, near Baghar Bridge in Kot Laloo Town. The incident occurred within the limits of Faiz Ganj taluka police station in the Khairpur district.
As a result of the collision, 10 passengers, including a woman, were killed on the spot, while 11 others were injured. The van driver was among those injured, while the coach driver fled the scene, leaving behind his vehicle. The injured and deceased were taken to the Paca Chang Hospital.
The deceased were identified as Karam Hussain Hesbani, Khadim Hussain Khaskheli, Mohammad Azam Soomro, Qasim Manganhar, Mairaj Shar, Altaf Hussain Dahiri, Ghulam Nabi Shaikh and Naimatullah Mallah, his wife Zulekha and his son Mumtaz.
Those injured included van driver Niaz Hussain Brohi, Abdul Hameed Memon, Naeem Memon and Shaman Abro.
Zulfiqar Ali, the head constable of the Kot Laloo police station, told The Express Tribune that the bodies had been handed over to the families and the injured had been referred to hospitals in Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana and Sukkur. He also said that the condition of five of the injured, including Brohi, was critical. He added that the police had impounded the coach.
Major road accidents on highways in the area have already claimed at least 19 lives and left nearly 70 others injured in the past year. In August alone, 10 people have been killed while 52 were injured in three accidents involving passenger vehicles.
On August 10, a speeding passenger coach overturned on the Mehran National Highway near Daur, killing three passengers and injuring 15 others, six of whom were in a critical condition. The ill-fated vehicle was travelling to Karachi from Peshawar when it escaped the driver's control and turned turtle.
Meanwhile, one person was killed and 25 injured when a passenger coach fell into a river in the Faiz Ganj area on August 4. The coach, en route from Multan to Karachi, lost balance due to excessive speeding and fell into the river running along the Mehran National Highway.
Another incident in the Khairpur district took the lives of six people when a passenger van collided head-on with a car on the National Highway near Tando Masti on August 1. Five members of a family, traveling in the car, were killed along with a van passenger while 12 others sustained injuries.
On June 6, seven people, including three women, were killed and 14 were injured when a car hit a passenger wagon from behind at a bus stop on the National Highway near Khairpur. The van driver had stopped to take more passengers when it was hit, after which it overturned and collided with iron pillars.
Yet another head-on collision between a car and a truck on the Mehran National Highway killed two people and injured three on December 8 last year. Again taking place in the Faiz Ganj area, the road accident completely destroyed the car and resulted in two deaths on the spot.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2014.