Author Topic: Collision in Khairpur: Horror on the highway  (Read 559 times)

chhaterdhari

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Collision in Khairpur: Horror on the highway
« on: November 12, 2014, 11:54:40 AM »


SUKKUR:
In a horrific road crash 58 people – nearly half of them women and children – died when a bus collided with a truck loaded with coal in Khairpur district early Tuesday morning. Nineteen people were also wounded in the tragedy that happened around 4.45am on the National Highway near Pir Mungio village, five kilometres away from Thehri Bypass.
According to initial reports, the bus (JB-5190) was en route to Karachi from Swat Valley of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It rammed into the truck (TKJ-511) when the driver lost control while negotiating a sharp turn in an attempt to avoid going down a closed road.
Witnesses said the bus overturned after hitting the truck and then skidded along the road for 20 to 30 metres. The collision was so intense that its thud was heard five kilometres away. The two vehicles were turned into heaps of mangled metal.
Senior police officer Faisal Chachar, who is in charge of the stretch of National Highway where the accident happened, said the bus and the truck had both been travelling at 80-90 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,” he added.
Television footage of the Witnesses said the bus overturned after hitting the truck and then skidded along the road for 20 to 30 meters. The collision was so intense that its thud was heard five kilometres away. The two vehicles were turned into heaps of mangled metal.
Senior police officer Faisal Chachar, who is in charge of the stretch of National Highway where the accident happened, said the bus and the truck had both been travelling at 80-90 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,” he added.

MAP BY MOHSIN ALAM
Television footage of the crash aftermath showed the mangled bus lying on its side, its roof completely sheared off and battered green seats scattered around the scene.
The casualties were driven to hospitals in Khairpur and Sukkur. Doctor Jaffer Soomro of the Khairpur Civil Hospital confirmed the death toll. “The accident was so severe that all of them died at the spot,” except for one child who died undergoing treatment in the hospital, Dr Soomro told AFP by phone. “I have never seen a road accident of such a horrible magnitude.”
Police said there were 17 women and 18 children among the dead.
The bus was carrying families from Swat to Karachi, and medical staff were struggling to communicate with some of the injured, who spoke only Pashto. “We have called translators to communicate with the surviving people especially the children who are in very miserable condition,” Dr Soomro said.
A D Khawaja, the Motorway Police chief of Sindh, told AFP that 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.”
Sukkur Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch blamed reckless driving for the fatal accident. “Such accidents usually take place in the morning when after night-long drives it’s difficult for the fatigued drivers to keep their eyes on the road.”
However, he added that the poor condition of the road was also responsible for frequent accidents in the same area. “They should have made proper diversions while construction work on the highway is ongoing,” he told The Express Tribune.
The first to reach the crash site were Edhi ambulances, followed by the police and rangers. Mechanical cranes and cutters were called to cut through the body of the bus to get to the passengers trapped among the seats. Witnesses recounted harrowing scenes at the site before the arrival of the machinery, of trapped passengers crying for help while rescuers stood by helplessly
“I’ve never seen such an accident in my life,” an elderly man, Shaban, told The Express Tribune. “The highway has been under construction for the past three-odd years and there is neither any proper diversion nor deployment of motorway police or traffic police to guide the heavy traffic,” he added.
After identification, 42 bodies were sent to Sukkur, from where they will be flown to Swat or Risalpur, while the remaining bodies were sent to Karachi by road for burial. Commissioner Baloch said they have announced monetary compensation of Rs30,000 for each of the injured, and recommended to the provincial chief minister compensation for the heirs of the deceased passengers.
 
Source-tribune