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Pakistan: 17 killed, over 30 injured after truck carrying pilgrims falls into ravine in Balochistan

The pilgrims were on their way to pay homage at the remote Muslim Sufi shrine Shah Noorani on late Wednesday in Balochistan's Khuzdar district. Road accidents are common in Pakistan, mainly due to poor roads, lack of safety awareness and disregard for traffic rules.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Peshawar Published on: April 11, 2024 10:26 IST
Representative Image
Image Source : FILE Representative Image

Peshawar: In a tragic incident, a truck carrying pilgrims fell into a deep ravine in Balochistan's Hub district, killing 17 people and injuring more than 30 others, police said on Thursday. The pilgrims were going to pay homage at the remote Muslim Sufi shrine Shah Noorani in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan when the mishap occurred.

A police official said the accident occurred due to a sharp turn during the drive, Geo News reported. The driver of the truck, Karim Baksh — who was also injured in the incident — has been taken into custody. "More than 70 people had left for the pilgrimage from Makli's Qasim Jokhio village," the official told reporters.

Rescue sources said a total of 17 people were killed, out of whom 15 had been identified, while 38 people were injured in the accident. Social worker Saad Edhi said the rescue operation took almost two hours and 17 dead bodies were first transferred to a Civil Hospital in the district in Hub district and then to a morgue.

"The truck fell into the ditch near Shah Noorani causing the accident. The exact time of the accident could not be known due to lack of signal," he said, sharing details regarding the accident. Meanwhile, the relatives of the deceased said the truck went out of control while taking a turn. "Passengers kept falling from the truck, which resulted in deaths," they said.

Balochistan CM issues directions

Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti also took notice of the incident, directing the district administration to transfer the injured to the hospitals immediately. An emergency has been imposed in the Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital in Hub, according to the provincial government spokesperson, and the CM has asked the administration to contact the Sindh government to shift the critically injured to Karachi.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed condolences at the incident and said the driver apparently lost control at a bend and the bus fell into the ravine. “The vehicle left Thatta around 2 in the afternoon on Eid day and met with the accident around 8 pm on Eid day (Wednesday),” Naqvi said.

Accidents common in Pakistan

It should be mentioned here that road accidents are common in Pakistan and claim numerous lives on a daily basis. Poor roads, lack of safety awareness and blatant disregard for traffic rules often cause fatal accidents in Pakistan.

In February, at least 10 people were killed and 15 injured when an overspeeding bus they were travelling fell into a ravine in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The driver lost control while negotiating a sharp turn due to overspeeding and fell into a deep gorge, police said.

In December of last year, a bus carrying pilgrims caught fire on its way from Shah Noorani shrine in Balochistan's Khuzdar to Karachi killing at least one passenger and injuring several others. The accident took place after the vehicle's engine heated up due to speeding and ignited flames.

(with PTI inputs)

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