Bus crashes and sinks in Pakistan, killing at least 50


At least 51 people died this Sunday morning (29) in Pakistan after two unrelated accidents, but separated by a short interval of hours, in the west of the Asian country.

First, the crash of a bus on a bridge left about 41 people dead. Shortly afterwards, a boat capsized, killing at least ten Pakistanis, all of them minors.

The vessel was carrying about 30 students from a local school who were on a field trip, a police officer told AFP. A rescue operation was organized at Lake Tandam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to pick up the remaining children.

The victims of the vessel were between 7 and 14 years old. So far, another 11 have been found alive, six of which are in critical condition in hospital. Nine remain missing in the lake.

In the accident involving a bus, in the city of Bela, in the province of Baluchistán, the vehicle exploded after falling from the bridge. According to a local official, Hamza Anjum, the bodies were unrecognizable.

One person who had survived the accident and was rescued, but died from his injuries. Two others were taken to a local hospital and are also in serious condition. The vehicle was carrying 48 people in all when it collided with one of the bridge pillars and fell.

Anjum said that one of the initial hypotheses is that the driver fell asleep while driving – the bus traveled during the night. An investigation has been opened, and DNA tests will be carried out to identify the victims’ bodies and deliver them to their families.

This type of accident is not uncommon in the country due to the precarious state of the roads and also the dangerous driving practices of vehicles. It is common for full buses to climb mountains without passengers wearing seat belts, for example.

In November, a minibus plunged into a ravine in the south in an accident that killed 20 people, including 11 minors. Months earlier, in August, in the province of Punyab, a collision between a bus and a truck carrying gasoline left dozens of people injured.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 27,000 people died on Pakistani roads in 2018 alone, the latest public statistics on the subject. And shipwrecks are also common in the country, where many boats sail in precarious conditions and are overcrowded.

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