KHAIRPUR: As the death toll from deadly Kharipur accident rose to 60, police said Wednesday they will investigate the National Highway Authority (NHA) over the crash that killed 57 people, blaming the poor condition of the road for the accident.
Earlier, eyewitnesses and Edhi sources had said that the driver of the passenger bus had fallen asleep behind the wheel which led to the collision.
On Wednesday, an FIR was filed by Station House Officer Amir Khan against the National Highway Authority (NHA). However, no one individual has been nominated in the FIR yet.
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
The bus smashed into a goods truck loaded with coal near Khairpur, 450 kilometres north of Karachi. There were 18 children among the dead.
District police chief Nasir Aftab told AFP the initial investigation found the road was in poor condition and had no warning signs to alert drivers to the danger.
“A first information report (FIR) for becoming cause of death has been registered and the concerned departments will be investigated for the bus accident,” Aftab said.
He said it was the first time a government department would be investigated for a road accident in Pakistan.
Motorway police official Faisal Chachar said that a 61-kilometre stretch of the road was in poor condition, having developed a significant furrow in its surface.
A senior motorway police officer told AFP on Tuesday the bus driver, carrying Pashtun families from northwestern Swat valley to Karachi, had lost control after hitting the rut in the road.
Pakistan has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving. Crashes killing dozens of people are not uncommon.
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.
A day after the unfortunate accident, bodies were transported to Risalpur, Swat and Karachi through Edhi ambulances. Edhi Foundation has arranged for coffins, transportation and medical for the deceased free of charge.
Funeral prayers for five deceased from Karachi were also offered today. They all belonged to the same family.