59 killed, 18 injured as bus collides with truck near Khairpur

Published: November 11, 2014
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The passenger bus after collision with a goods truck. PHOTO: INP

The passenger bus after collision with a goods truck. PHOTO: INP

The passenger bus after collision with a goods truck. PHOTO: INP An Express News screengrab of goods truck  badly damaged after the accident.

SUKKUR: At least 59 people were killed while 18 others sustained injuries when a passenger bus collided head-on with a goods truck near Khairpur, Express News reported.

The passenger bus was en route to Karachi from Swat when it collided with the truck on Theri Bypass.

The dead included 17 women and 18 children. The injured were shifted to Khairpur civil hospital for medical assistance. A senior doctor at the hospital said the condition of three of the injured was critical.

According to eyewitnesses and Edhi sources, the driver of the bus dozed off as his vehicle hit the truck.

“The accident was so severe that all of them died at the spot, except for one child who died undergoing treatment in hospital,” Doctor Jaffer Soomro told AFP by phone from Khairpur Civil Hospital.

“I have never seen a road accident of such a horrible magnitude.”

The details of Tuesday’s crash are still not entirely clear. Initial reports said the two vehicles collided head on, but later police said the bus hit the stationary truck after pulling out from a fuel stop.

After visiting the site of the accident along with Khairpur SSP Motorway and MNA Dr Nafisa Shah, AD Khawaja the Motorway police chief of Sindh, held the National Highway Authority responsible for the accident.

Khawaja told AFP the poor condition of the road may have been a factor, as well as bad driving.

“There was a deep ditch on the road which we call ‘rutting’ some 30 to 40 yards before the place where the bus hit the truck,” he said.

“We have learned that the bus went out of control after it hit the rutting and it landed on the opposite side of the road and then hit the truck which was coming from Karachi.”

A section of the National Highway, which the above bypass is connected to, has been under construction for the past five years while the other side is also partially damaged.

Senior police officer Faisal Chachar, who is in charge of the stretch of highway where the accident happened, said that not long before it, the bus driver had been fined for overloading his vehicle and forced to set down four passengers.

He said the bus and the truck had both been travelling at around 80 to 90 kilometres per hour when they collided.

“We had to call mechanical cranes and cutters to separate the bus and trucks and the bus was compressed completely,” Chachar said.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad expressed sorrow over the loss and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The country has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly-maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

The emergency services’ recovery equipment is basic and when crashes happen away from major towns, as they often do, rescue efforts can take some time, reducing injured passengers’ chances of survival.

In April a bus smashed into a tractor-trailer in a high speed collision in Sindh, killing 42 people, while in March a horrific crash between two buses and a petrol tanker left 35 dead, with many burned alive when the fuel ignited.

The mountainous areas of Kashmir and the north, where drivers career around narrow hairpin bends over deep ravines with scant regard for safety, are particularly prone to accidents.

Three crashes in the space of 10 days in March in Kashmir and the northwest left a total of 46 people dead.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • imran
    Nov 11, 2014 - 9:38AM

    The lives of 60 plus people are in the hand of a single driver who was driving all night long , may be under the influence of marijuana and in a bus company with no legislation of shift change for drivers for long distance travelling. I wonder why rules cannot be made for all such private transporters ?

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  • Nov 11, 2014 - 10:06AM

    May all Rest In Peace.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:25AM

    inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

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  • Muhammad Shoaib
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:32AM

    yes ,indeed its the dilemma in Pakistan , there is no formal institute for drivers, no law to monitor the driver duty and driving hours , no rule & regulation implementation for these kind of road transporters. imagine how 80 people could be loaded inside the bus, normally a passenger bus can car 48 to 56 passengers. Where are the road and highway authorities ??
    Well where every things permit is currency then we should be prepared for such big accidents.

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  • Nov 11, 2014 - 10:40AM

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajeoon. Ameen

    @imran: I agree 101 percent with you. There are no Highway Rules or police to monitor such passenger traffic. The idea is to get the wheels moving as fast as possible and come back with a full load. Money, money, and more money is the icon they worship.
    The Sindh Assembly boasts of passing legislation but WITHOUT IMPLEMENTATION. Why is there no implementation…….because the PPP lacks the capacity. Salams

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  • umair
    Nov 11, 2014 - 11:13AM

    *if the rule/limit of speed is allowed for every private car then why highway police is not taking the action against them. It’s not the first accident. It happens every year. High speed trucks, busses, coaches, they all create messed and loss of precious lives. And yes marijuana is the second biggest problem of these drivers. The single driver is booked to drive for the day and night. How he can be so precise.??? They have to pressure those bus owner who are sleeping at there homes *

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  • Mir
    Nov 11, 2014 - 11:37AM

    I belong to Khairpur, where the accident took place. The road where it took place was under construction, terribly mismanaged at all the diversions and segregation. This is the sole responsibility of Sindh government and/or NHA to take care of such projects and facilitates and properly manage them rather than wait for something this big happen. Alas ! 55+ lives lost to the negligence

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  • Baloch
    Nov 11, 2014 - 3:30PM

    It is indeed sad that precious lives have been lost in fatal road accidents. What we need is proper implementation of road safely laws, better road network and regulation of transport companies.Recommend

  • javed iqbal
    Nov 11, 2014 - 3:44PM

    I usually Travel from Ghotki to Sukkur, my frequency of travel is once in a week from past five years, on the ROHRI by pass on bridge the road is damaged and is under construction from past so many years, now who should be account responsible for the lives of 56. all responsibilities lies under sindh Govt:

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  • cyrus
    Nov 11, 2014 - 4:14PM

    very very sad indeed. This calls for “Strict” actions on Driving skills and ethics.
    Rest, this says it all…………….. The country has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly-maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

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  • SS
    Nov 11, 2014 - 6:06PM

    The Highway maintenance department, Trafic Police department, Driving Licence department, khairpur adminsitration is responcible for the murder of these innocent people. Even though they might not realise this at this time and put all the burden of blame on the driver.

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  • Jibran
    Nov 11, 2014 - 6:59PM

    I’m not sure if National Highway Authority falls under the Sindh Government.
    Construction happens everywhere in the world. It is the responsibility of the drivers to maintain safe driving speeds.
    In most countries, 95% of the people are law abiding. And the police has to deal with only 5%. In Pakistan, 95% people break traffic laws on a daily basis. It is time for the collective responsibility of the drivers, instead of shifting blames.
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  • Farhan
    Nov 11, 2014 - 7:19PM

    having recent victim of car accident on one of the highways of sindh, i can assure you that there isnt any single hospital in interior sindh that can cater one a single road accident patient (aka trauma center) let alone such a huge number of patients….what they are best at is to give you an injection and ask you to leave while referring to some big hospital that happens to be in karachi only…damaged roads further contribute to such accidents.

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  • Amir
    Nov 11, 2014 - 7:49PM

    A serious tragedy where no authorities have the guts to challenge the transport mafia who ignore safety concerns.

    Roads in Sindh are pathetic. For years I have been travelling to Punjab from Karachi on vacations by road, and same stretch of roads are still in repair. No progress.

    Roads have track marks and if you drive on it, one tends to loose control. Plus traffic management is bad.

    Average speed i had encountered in Sindh was 50-60 kmh. In Punjab the speed average increased to 80-90 kmh.

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  • Mohammad Hassan
    Nov 11, 2014 - 8:55PM

    Very sad news… inna lillahi wa inna ilahe rajeoon…

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  • Usman
    Nov 11, 2014 - 9:26PM

    @imran:
    Why don’t you try to impose and force to apply rules instead of making your own judgements against the departed driver.May be it wasn’t the case and he had tried hard to save them?

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  • Annonymus
    Nov 11, 2014 - 9:29PM

    It is very sad to learn this accident.
    Please also note that Airport Metro Cab service has strictly driving 24 Hours for each driver. Has anyone who can take action against them?

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  • doniya
    Nov 12, 2014 - 10:00PM

    RIP in peace women and children! Drivers in Pakistan think they own the roads as i have experienced it myself. i nearly escaped an accident when i was 12 i still remember that it was horror the roads are always bad in pakistan!

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  • bajwa
    Nov 13, 2014 - 12:03PM

    Thanks to PPP, not a single high-way in Sindh is travel worthy. You feel a big difference as soon as you enter Sind at Sadiqabad. PPP has given nothing to this country and to his province except for the corruption.

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