Tragic Lasbela, Tanda Dam incidents claim 52 lives

  • 41 dead when bus falls into ravine, 11 seminary students drown when boat capsizes
  • President, PM, Balochistan CM express grief and sorrow over loss of lives in a tragic bus accident

LASBELA/KOHAT: As many as 41 persons were killed when a passenger coach fell into a ravine in Lasbela area of Balochistan on Sunday morning while 11 children studying in a religious seminary drowned in Tanda Dam near Shahpur in Kohat, officials confirmed.

Eleven other 11 children were rescued, out of which four were in critical condition.

Lasbela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum, while confirming the incident, that the vehicle, with nearly 48 passengers on board, was travelling from Quetta to Karachi.

“Due to speeding, the coach crashed into the pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela. The vehicle subsequently careened into a ravine and then caught fire,” he said.

Anjum added that three people, including a child and a woman, have been rescued alive. However, one of the injured persons succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

The officer feared that the number of casualties could further increase to 48.

He added that the bodies recovered from the wrecked bus were unidentifiable and DNA testing will be done for the identification of the deceased.

Ramshackle highways, lax safety measures and reckless driving contribute to Pakistan’s dire road safety record.

Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.

In June last year, at least 22 people were killed, including nine members of a family, when a passenger van fell into a ravine near Qila Saifullah district of northern Balochistan.

The van, carrying 23 passengers and en route to Zhob from Loralai, fell into the 200-foot-deep ravine when it reached the Akhtarzai area.

The lone survivor — a 13-year-old boy — was taken to hospital in a critical condition, said Hafiz Muhammad Qasim Kakar, the deputy commissioner of Qila Saifullah.

President, PM express deep grief over loss of lives in Lasbela accident

President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday expressed their deep grief and sorrow over loss of lives in a tragic bus accident in Lasbela, Balochistan.

The president and the prime minister expressed their condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the high ranks of the departed souls, President Secretariat and PM Office Media Wings said in separate press releases. They also prayed for the early recovery of the injured people.

The president stressed upon taking of practical steps to avert the occurrence of such incidents in the future.

The prime minister directed for provision of all available medical facilities to the injured ones.

At least 40 people including children and women died when a passenger coach plunged into a ravine near Chanki Stop area of Lasbela on early Sunday morning.

A Karachi-bound passenger coach from Quetta carrying over 47 passengers plunged into a gorge and caught fire. As a result, 40 passengers, including women and children were burnt to death on the spot.

Balochistan CM seeks report on Bela Road accident

Balochistan CM Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo took notice of Bela area of Lasbela Road mishap which left 41 dead and four injured and sought a report from the official concerned in 24 hours.

He also expressed his sorrow over the losses of precious lives in the incident and the increase in traffic accidents on Quetta-Karachi Highways.

He also instructed the Commissioner Kalat Division to review the situation of the incident and to submit report of the accident in 24 hours.

The CM also directed Commission Kalat Regional Transport Department to take measure to prevent road mishap which increased on National Highway Karachi-Quetta so that protection of  passengers lives would be ensured during traveling.

11 seminary students drown in Tanda Dam

In another tragic incident, eleven children studying in a religious seminary drowned in Tanda Dam near Shahpur while 11 children were rescued, out of which four were in critical condition.

The incident occurred when an ill-fated boat carrying 25 to 30 students, mostly aged between 8 to 10 years, was on a day trip from a local seminary when it overturned in the water of Tanda Dam lake, police said on Sunday.

The teams of Rescue1122 Kohat, Peshawar, Karak and Hangu reached the spot and started the rescue operation. They rescued 11 children and shifted them to DHQ Hospital Kohat.

It was said that a total of seven ambulances, four boats, two recovery vehicles and more than 40 personnel were participating in the rescue operation. The operation to find the bodies of the rest of the students was going on.

A special diving team has also been dispatched from Peshawar for the rescue operation.



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