Forty dead after bus falls into ravine in Pakistan

The bus was speeding when it crashed into the pillar of a bridge, an official said

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A passenger bus fell into a ravine and caught fire in southern Pakistan on Sunday, killing 40 people, a government official said.

The bus was carrying 44 passengers from Quetta in Balochistan province to Karachi in neighbouring Sindh province. The accident happened near the town of Bela, in Lasbela district.

Hamza Anjum Nadeem, assistant commissioner in Bela, said the bodies of 40 people, including women and children, were recovered. Four injured passengers were rescued.

"The accident happened due to over-speeding and the bus crashed into the pillar of a bridge. It caught fire soon after falling into the ravine,” he said.

He said the bodies were charred beyond recognition and were being transported to Karachi for DNA sampling. After identification, the bodies will be handed over to relatives.

The wreckage of a burnt passenger bus in Lasbela district of Pakistan's Balochistan province on January 29. AFP

Firefighters and workers from the Lasbela Welfare Trust and the Edhi Welfare Foundation carried out the rescue operation.

The chief minister of Balochistan, Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, expressed his sorrow for the loss of life and ordered authorities to provide the injured with the best medical facilities.

In a separate incident, at least 10 children died on Sunday and nine are missing after their boat capsized at a dam in north-western Pakistan.

Traffic accidents in Pakistan generally happen due to traffic rule violations, with thousands killed every year.

In June 2021, a bus carrying dozens of pilgrims plunged into a ravine in the south-west of the country, killing at least 18 passengers.

Updated: January 29, 2023, 11:03 AM