LAHORE: At least three people died and hundreds of others were injured after they met with road accidents while celebrating Independence Day here on Wednesday.
Most of the injured were youngsters who landed in hospitals with multiple injuries such as bone fractures. Stunts on motorbikes, rash driving, wheeling, harassment of women and aerial firing were witnessed on the day.
An accident occurred at Garhi Shahu overhead bridge where a rashly-driven car overturned and fell on the road. Three car occupants suffered serious injuries, according to the Rescue 1122 spokesperson. Of them, he said, Ghulam Rasool, 40, died in hospital while the condition of Momin, 16, and Sabir, 47, was said to be critical.
In another incident, six-year-old Zahid Shabbir was run over and killed by a car on MM Alam Road.
According to Rescue 1122, traffic police and sources in main teaching hospitals of the city, 900 people, most of them youngsters, were injured. Many of them were shifted to emergency wards of Mayo Hospital, Services, Sir Ganga Ram, Lahore General Hospital and Jinnah Hospital.
Most accidents took place after evening and late in the night when thousands of people thronged the city’s main roads.
The youngsters defied the ban on a wheeling on major roads including Mall, Jail Road, Davies Road, Canal, Ferozepur Road, Gulberg’s Main Boulevard and Ring Road as the deployed policemen stood at their assigned spots lazing around instead of performing their duties.
The reserves called from Police Lines, Traffic Police, Dolphin Squad, and Police Response Units etc. were assigned the main task of curtailing violations including wheeling and rash driving besides providing security to the families; however, all forces displayed nonchalance as youngsters wreaked havoc just feet away from them, especially on Ferozpur Road.
The rescue officials said the youngsters suffered bone and head fractures while recklessly driving bikes. Many incidents were reported when the motorcyclists rammed into poles and smashed into the footpaths when they lost control.
Similarly, the incidents of a head-on collision between bikes and cars also resulted in casualties.
DIG Operations Ashfaq Ahmad Khan claimed that police arrested 485 people in various parts of the city and registered 379 cases for violating the ban on one-wheeling. He said 20 FIRs were lodged at various police stations and 26 suspects held for aerial firing.
The DIG said the action was also taken against those found harassing families and women who were out to enjoy celebrations.