PINDI BHATTIAN: A devastating collision between a passenger bus and a diesel-laden pick-up on the Faisalabad Motorway near Pindi Bhattian has led to a heart-wrenching loss of life, with 18 individuals, including women and children, losing their lives. An additional 15 individuals sustained injuries in the catastrophic incident that occurred in the early hours of Sunday.
The ill-fated bus, carrying approximately 35 to 40 passengers, was in transit from Karachi to Islamabad, as confirmed by local rescue officials. Among the victims were the drivers of both the bus and the pick-up.
Medical Superintendent of the region stated that the wounded were promptly transported to medical facilities in Pindi Bhattian and Faisalabad Hospital for urgent medical attention.
Reports indicate that the tragic accident unfolded around 4 am near the Pindi-Bhattian Interchange. The bus collided with a pick-up van transporting diesel drums, resulting in a violent impact that ignited a blaze on the bus, as detailed by District Police Officer (DPO) Dr. Fahad. Heroic bystanders in close proximity endeavored to extricate passengers from the engulfed bus by breaking windows. The injured, including four individuals in a critical state, were expeditiously transported to medical centers for care and treatment.
DPO Dr. Fahad provided further insight, revealing that a total of 18 bodies have been retrieved from the scene, with their identities to be confirmed through DNA testing.
It is important to underscore that this distressing incident is not an isolated occurrence on the highways. A series of grave accidents have occurred in recent times, claiming numerous lives.
Back in July, a bus rollover in the Fazilpur area of Punjab’s Rajanpur district resulted in the tragic demise of five individuals, including a woman and two minors. An additional 20 people sustained injuries in the mishap. The ill-fated bus, carrying followers of a Sufi saint, was returning from Sakhi Sarwar to Jacobabad when it overturned due to driver fatigue, according to statements by rescue officials. The seriously injured were transferred to Rajanpur district hospital, while others were admitted to a local medical facility in Fazilpur.
This mournful event took place in the wake of another unfortunate incident near Babusar Top in the Geeti-Das area, where eight lives were lost and several individuals were wounded. The incident occurred when a tourist bus veered into a deep gorge on treacherous mountain terrain and subsequently caught fire.
Prior to these occurrences, six lives were tragically claimed in a comparable accident on July 16 in the Thalichi area of Diamer district. In yet another heart-wrenching incident, 12 individuals, including women and children, perished in June, leaving 24 others injured, as a passenger bus overturned on the Islamabad-Lahore motorway near Kallar Kahar. The bus was en route to Lahore from Rawalpindi at the time of the accident.
As a result of the recent accident, authorities had to temporarily close two lanes of the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, while a single lane remained open to facilitate traffic flow, according to a statement from a spokesperson of the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP).