20 people killed,
14 injured as bus
plunges into ravine
in Balochistan

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QUETTA: At least 20 people were killed and 14 injured when a passenger bus fell into a ravine in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday night, confirmed an official.

The bus carrying passengers from Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city was going to Quetta in Balochistan province when it went out of control and fell into the ravine in the Dana Sar area of Dera Ismail Khan.

QUETTA: People and rescue workers stand near dead bodies of passengers, At least 20 passengers died after a Quetta-bound bus travelling from Islamabad fell into a ravine in Zhob district of the Balochistan province.

About 6,000-8,000 people die each year in accidents on single-lane roads nicknamed “killer highways” that spread over thousands of miles in Balochistan, according to motorway authorities.

Fatal road accidents are common in Pakistan, where traffic rules are rarely followed and roads in many rural areas are in poor condition.

“At least 20 people have been killed in the latest accident,” Mehtab Shah, assistant commissioner in district Sherani, told Arab News on Sunday. “The bodies have been shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Zhob.”

Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital Dr. Muzaffar Shah said 14 people who were injured in the accident were referred to Balochistan’s provincial capital, Quetta, for better medical care.

“Initially, we received five bodies because rescue teams had shifted some bodies to the Mughal Kot area of Dera Ismail Khan,” he said, adding more bodies were being shifted to Zhob after which they would be handed over to the victims’ relatives for burial.

QUETTA: People stand near a accidental bus, At least 20 passengers died after a Quetta-bound bus travelling from Islamabad fell into a ravine in Zhob district of the Balochistan  province.

District authorities have started investigating the incident to determine its cause. Rescue 1122 spokesperson in Dera Ismail Khan Aizaz Mehmood said initial reports suggested the accident happened since the road was slippery after the recent spell of rains in the province.

“The highway is full of curves with rugged mountains around it,” he continued. “Hence drivers avoid speeding in this particular area. However, the Rawalpindi-Quetta passenger bus got out of control and plunged into a ditch.”

Last month, at least 22 passengers were killed when a vehicle fell into a deep ravine in Balochistan’s Killa Saifullah district.

Every year, thousands commute from various areas in Pakistan to spend time with their relatives ahead of Eid Al-Adha. However, dilapidated roads and reckless driving have often claimed people’s lives in accidents across the country.

In this photo, rescue workers stand near the fallen bus in a ravine in Quetta on July 2, 2022. (Photo courtesy: Rescue 1122)

Rescue teams rushed to the scene soon after receiving information, Shah said, adding that the bodies had been taken to the hospital where the process to identify them was under way.

Medical superintendent of Civil Hospital Zhob, Dr Noorul Haq, said that the injured being brought to the facility were in critical condition. He also said that the death toll was expected to rise.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo expressed grief over the lives lost in the incident. He also offered his sincere condolences to the victims’ families.

He ordered an emergency be declared in Civil Hospital Zhob to ensure treatment for the injured.

In this photo, a bus is seen falling in a ravine in Quetta on July 2, 2022. (Photo courtesy: Rescue 1122)

Later, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the lives lost. The premier directed the authorities concerned to provide immediate and medical aid to the injured, a Radio Pakistan report said.

Last month, 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 Akhtarzai area.

Hafiz Muhammad Qasim Kakar, the deputy commissioner of Qila Saifullah, said the driver was speeding and broke through a protective wall at a bend in the road, falling hundreds of feet into the ravine.