At least 30 dead in two-bus collision in central Pakistan

Rescue workers had to cut open the buses to extricate the bodies and injured passengers after the accident in Khanpur. The two buses, carrying about 100 passengers, collided head-on early yesterday.
Rescue workers had to cut open the buses to extricate the bodies and injured passengers after the accident in Khanpur. The two buses, carrying about 100 passengers, collided head-on early yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ISLAMABAD • At least 30 people were killed and 50 others wounded after a head-on collision between two passenger buses in central Pakistan, officials said.

The two buses, carrying about 100 passengers, collided early yesterday in Khanpur, some 800km south of the capital Islamabad.

District police inspector Hassan Iqbal said the initially reported death toll of 27 had risen to 30 after three critically injured passengers died during treatment.

Local government official Zafar Iqbal earlier said that "at least 27 people have been killed in the accident and 50 others were wounded".

"One speeding bus tried to pass a truck, but its driver could not see another bus coming from the opposite side and (it led to) a collision that destroyed both buses," Mr Iqbal added.

Local police chief Mehar Arsal said the buses slammed into trees after colliding with each other.

Images from the crash site showed one of the buses on its side with its windows shattered and another bus with its roof partly caved in.

Rescue teams rushed to the site and moved the bodies and injured to the Sub-district Hospital in Khanpur and Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan.

The rescuers had to cut open the ill-fated buses to extricate the bodies and injured passengers.

There are fears that the death toll could rise.

According to local media reports, one bus with students on board was coming from the southern port city of Karachi to the eastern city of Lahore, while the other was heading towards Karachi from Sargodha city in the province.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office said that he had "expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives".

AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE, REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'At least 30 dead in two-bus collision in central Pakistan'. Print Edition | Subscribe