In this handout photo released by Punjab Province's Emergency Service Rescue 11222, shows residents and rescue workers at the site of a deadly bus accident near Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan, Monday, July 19, 2021. The speeding bus carrying mostly laborers traveling home for a major Muslim holiday rammed into a container truck on a busy highway in central Pakistan, killing and injuring dozens, police and rescue officials said. (Emergency Service Rescue 1122 via AP)
A jam-packed bus carrying mostly laborers traveling home for a major Muslim holiday rammed into a container truck on a busy highway in central Pakistan on Monday, police and rescue officials said. At least 33 people were killed and 40 others injured.
The bus, which was over passenger capacity, had left the city of Sialkot and was traveling on Taunsa Road in Punjab province. Its destination was the city of Dera Ghazi Khan, said senior police officer Hassan Javed. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation, he said.
Rescuers transported the dead and injured to a nearby hospital. According to Sher Khan, who was in charge of the rescue team at the site, some of the injured were in critical condition. He said the bus driver was among the 33 killed in the accident.
Khan said the passengers were traveling to their home district of Rajanpur to celebrate the upcoming Eid al-Adha feast.
Injured passenger Haider Ali said the bus was overcrowded and some passengers were sitting on the roof at the time of the accident. However, police said they were still investigating whether some passengers were on the roof.
TV footage and photos circulating on social media showed rescuers trying to pull bodies from the badly mangled bus. In one image, some of the injured are seen sitting near the bus, waiting for medical help.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry expressed his condolences on Twitter and advised public transport drivers to be more careful of the lives of the people they have been entrusted with.
“When will we as a nation realize that the violation of traffic rules is fatal,” he said.
Deadly accidents are common in Pakistan due to poor road infrastructure and disregard for traffic laws.
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