62 killed in bus-oil tanker collision on Karachi Super Highway

Published: January 11, 2015
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Pakistani volunteers search for victims inside a burnt out passenger bus after it collided with an oil tanker along the Super Highway near Karachi early on January 11, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani volunteers search for victims inside a burnt out passenger bus after it collided with an oil tanker along the Super Highway near Karachi early on January 11, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani volunteers search for victims inside a burnt out passenger bus after it collided with an oil tanker along the Super Highway near Karachi early on January 11, 2015. PHOTO: AFP The bus and oil tanker collided on Super Highway. PHOTO: EXPRESS The burnt bus. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: As many as 62 passengers were killed in a head-on collision between a bus and an oil tanker travelling on Karachi’s Super Highway on Sunday morning.

The Al Shoaib coach (JB-1158), with over 60 passengers on board, was travelling to Shikarpur from Steel Town in Karachi. It was on the Kathor link road of the Super Highway when it collided with the tanker which was coming from the wrong side just after Saturday midnight.

Speaking to the media outside Chief Minister (CM) House, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the officials to carry out an inquiry into the incident.

Following the early morning collision, the bus burst into flames after its CNG cylinders exploded. Passengers fell unconscious inside the bus due to suffocation.

Volunteers search for bodies inside a burnt out passenger bus after it collided with an oil tanker on Karachi Super Highway. PHOTO: AFP

The bodies were shifted to Jinnah hospital for identification purpose soon after the incident.

Dr Semi Jamali at the hospital, said the bodies of at least six children were stuck to women who may have been their mothers, adding it was impossible to separate the remains.

“They are beyond recognition, they can only be identified by DNA test,” she added.

Nearly half-a-dozen passengers, who were sitting on the roof of the bus, managed to jump to safety. The bus driver, cleaner and the truck driver also managed to save themselves as well.

At least 40 passengers out of the 59, including women and children, were burnt to death. A family of eight were also among those who were killed.

Also in Balochistan,  six people, including three children, were killed and 17 others critically injured in a deadly road accident near Uthal area of Lasbela district on Sunday.

The accident was the second major fatal crash in Sindh in less than three months. In November last year, at least 59 people were killed while 18 others sustained injuries when a passenger bus collided with a goods truck near Khairpur, Sindh. The passenger bus was en route to Karachi from Swat when it collided with the truck on Theri Bypass.

Fire

So intense were the flames that the fire brigade had to be called in to extinguish the blaze. However, by the time the fire brigade had put the flames out, the bus and the tanker were completely gutted.

A policeman stands beside wreckage of a burnt out oil taker and passenger bus following an accident on Karachi Super Highway. PHOTO: AFP

Once the fire was extinguished, rescue workers tried to recover the bodies. They had to cut sections of the bus using heavy machinery to reach some of the bodies.

Police officials claimed that fire tenders from Steel Town did not arrive on the scene quickly enough to put the flames out but a fire official from Landhi fire station said a tender was dispatched soon after they received a call. Witnesses, however, said first fire tender reached the site nearly two hours after the incident took place.

Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui said they were investigating the incident, while Rao Muhammad Anwaar, a senior police official, said that police is trying to ascertain if the driver of the oil tanker was solely at fault or whether the bus driver also showed negligence.

Following the incident, the road was shutdown for traffic, causing a traffic jam on the Super Highway.

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

Mourners react outside a hospital in after their relatives were killed in an accident between a passenger bus and oil tanker on Karachi Super Highway. PHOTO: AFP

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Casim
    Jan 11, 2015 - 4:33AM

    These are the consequences of protecting the local car assemblers from foreign competition. If we hadn’t done that we would have far more fuel efficient vehicles and would not have to resort to unsafe CNG ones.

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  • Kamran
    Jan 11, 2015 - 4:41AM

    Will we ever learn how to live like civilized nations? Just this single accident reveals so many things and asks so many questions:

    Was the CNG cylinder well maintained?
    Were there any fire extinguishers in the bus?
    Were there any emergency exits in the bus?
    Were the drivers of both the truck and the bus on drugs (which is often the case)?
    The driver is responsible for the lives of passengers, will he be answerable, if at all found? he would probably have disappeared by now.
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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 11, 2015 - 4:57AM

    Very sad incident. Our drivers and transporters have no regard for human lives. They are road terrorists.

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  • Kala_bach
    Jan 11, 2015 - 6:19AM

    Said and unfortunate but the timing of arrival of fire trucks is more miserable. The incompetency of Sindh government highest. I am not what Sherjeel Memon and Qaim Ali shah come with excuse?

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  • Taha
    Jan 11, 2015 - 6:56AM

    Everytime after hearing the news of deadliest accidents I still don’t understand jow these cruel drivers and conductors save themselves? They Must be punished hard. Only way to stop these. Because they are mostly illiterate and They don’t understand laws without Punishment.

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  • ivehadit
    Jan 11, 2015 - 8:26AM

    cry, my beloved country.

    so many tragedies, unfolding so close to one another. it’s heart rending.

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  • Talha
    Jan 11, 2015 - 10:44AM

    RIP .. dead pessangers. May Allah grant them jannah and provide strength to the family members to bear the irrevocable loss.

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  • Muhammad
    Jan 11, 2015 - 10:51AM

    May all the victims R.I.P. The truck driver should be held responsible for all this. I mean, how can you think of driving a truck carrying gas cylinders on the wrong side? Unbelievable.

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  • Karachi Wally
    Jan 11, 2015 - 11:01AM

    Oh Allah please have mercy on this country.

    What is happening to our country, it seems all that can possibly go wrong is going wrong. We need to take measures to repay the death of innocent lives of Peshawar School tragedy. Nature is demanding justice in the society.

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  • Jan 11, 2015 - 11:50AM

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajeoon. Ameen.
    Sixty-eight years and our road laws are not observed. Why? Because even a young boy can get a license and drive a riksha on Karachi’s roads. So, what to talk of a tanker driver from the mountains of FATA. Who will go to catch him?
    It’s nice that the CM has taken notice and directed speedy relief work. The last part of the sentence is new, otherwise, the first part of taking notice has established a record in the Guinness Book of Records. Salams

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  • Muhammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 11, 2015 - 12:00PM

    One of the worst accidents on Super Highway.

    All people hear and read in Pakistan is death and destruction whether it happened in APS, or at any Imam Bargah, killings of doctors, political workers by police, or sectarian killings.

    The good news came after a very long time that prices of petroleum products were slashed down (except CNG), but the prices of commodities in daily use were not slashed down accordingly, whereas, shop keeps raised the prices on the pretext that petrol prices have risen and it affects came on every thing in the market that is available to eat or used for cooking, including the vegetables.

    This shows that how badly the country is governed in Punjab: By Shahbaz Sharif, real brother of PM Nawaz Sharif, in Sindh: By Qaim Ali Shah, who is also a Syed, in KPK: By Imran Khan who is the defecto Prime Minister of KPK and expert in sint-ins in Pakistan with value addition of getting married at the age of 62.

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  • Ali
    Jan 11, 2015 - 12:18PM

    Which company’s oil was the tanker carrying. The relevant oil companies and its contractors should be apprehended for not taking care of the way their drivers perform when carrying dangerous and inflammable material.

    Request to The Express Tribune: Journalistic integrity calls for you to mention the name of the Oil Company and the Contractor.

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  • Timorlane
    Jan 11, 2015 - 12:42PM

    Transporters are totally free to:
    1) Permanently keeping the “emergency gate” closed by fitting seats in front of it.
    2) Running with sub standard CNG kits sans maintenance
    3) Make their drivers break traffic and safety rules to make more money

    WELCOME TO THE WADERA OCCUPIED KARACHI

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  • Timorlane
    Jan 11, 2015 - 1:00PM

    @Karachi Wally: This happens when robbers rule whose only interest is to loot more and more

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  • asad
    Jan 11, 2015 - 1:13PM

    Ban CNG in vehicles, period.

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  • YOUSUF
    Jan 11, 2015 - 1:25PM

    Sad to hear the above news. As per our long dreadful history, I am 100% sure that no action will be taken by the relevant authorities (except making committee or commission) against the culprits.Jiye Bhutto / Jiye Muthiada and Marey Awaam…

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  • String
    Jan 11, 2015 - 1:35PM

    In Pak number of people dies every year in road accident than to any other unnatural reason

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  • String
    Jan 11, 2015 - 1:36PM

    We need reforms in Traffic police at least and its more important ,In Pak number of people dies every year in road accident than to any other unnatural reason

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  • concernedrader
    Jan 11, 2015 - 2:29PM

    Surely Zahil Hamid types will scream that Indian conspiracy by its kufrs who need to be conquered and smashed to bits one day. When will Pakistan have change of heart and stop being schizophrenic? How long can delusion rule of being athletic Arabs who swept the subcontinent rule?

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  • Hassan Y.
    Jan 11, 2015 - 3:03PM

    May the death rest in peace and Allah give strength to their families.
    Sindh governmemt will only take notice and nothing much. These incompetent people who are in power in Sindh will not make good roads. Transporter have no mercy and they as usual run away after the incident to save their life. Bus drivers to make more profit will use CNG and cylinder maintenance a question mark.
    If God forbid another incident of this sort take place then Sindh govt again will take notice only and no measures.
    May God save us from corrupt and incompetent people. Ameen.

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  • kapt slim
    Jan 11, 2015 - 3:54PM

    Keep selecting such incompetent people
    keep voting such corrupt people
    keep picking dead bodies

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  • Saad Ali
    Jan 11, 2015 - 5:38PM

    Sindh desperately needs a new administration. I would even take mqm over ppp these days if not a fresh admin as they have failed miserably. These puppets always have their excuses like “what can we do?”, sharjeel memon recons it’s not his responisility and has blamed nha that comes under federal goverment while he should’ve held the responsibilty.

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  • baig
    Jan 11, 2015 - 7:56PM

    Most incapeable sindh govt has caused it.Dont know how to get rid of it.

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  • The one
    Jan 12, 2015 - 1:02AM

    Absolutely terrible to see people die in a very preventable tragedy. Reckless driving, unsafe gas additions to vehicle, no emergency precautions on vehicle and poor emergency service response all contributed to this disaster. Sadly this will be forgotten tomorrow until the next tragedy

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  • khan
    Jan 12, 2015 - 2:56AM

    Islamic republic of Pakistan.
    Atomic power holder eek bus KO lagi aag naheen qaboo kur saka

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  • Rana
    Jan 12, 2015 - 8:17AM

    Very sad. All drivers are requested to be very very careful please.

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  • Rana
    Jan 12, 2015 - 8:18AM

    so sad.

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  • bahadur khan
    Jan 12, 2015 - 12:49PM

    just a month back, 20 people died in a tanker bus accident in india near jaipur. A year back a volvo caught fire killing 60 people near hyderabad India. Causes are illegal modification in buses, no exit route, overloading, inadequate rest to drivers, and finally carrying explosive cargo without license, To top it all, insurance companies do not recognize claims when there is no proper identification of dead/ xerox of ticket. everything is burnt.The bus service owner will deny any mistake, tanker will deny any mistake. Highway police and other law departments will make money in India,

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  • Jan 12, 2015 - 2:54PM

    Ban cng completely
    Because of it so many died in soany accident from the time it introffices in out roads that wastage of national resource as eeell precipes human lives, 62 died on petrol case maybe 8 to 20 have died but not all and not so horrible death Rip
    We need to spread the awareness in common ppl about road safety otherwise government of anu third world countru will not do anything constructive on ground other then just taking notices and condemnations which I’d close tobecoming a national slogan now.

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