A passenger bus fell into a ravine and caught fire in southern Pakistan on Sunday, killing 40 people, a government official said.
The bus was carrying 44 passengers from Quetta in Balochistan province to Karachi in the neighbouring Sindh province. The incident happened near the town of Bela, in Lasbela district.
Hamza Anjum Nadeem, assistant commissioner in Bela, said the bodies of 40 people, including women and children, were recovered. Four injured passengers were rescued.
“The accident happened due to over-speeding and the bus crashed into the pillar of a bridge. It caught fire soon after falling into the ravine,” he said.
He said the bodies were charred beyond recognition and were being taken to Karachi for DNA sampling. After identification, they will be handed over to the victims’ relatives.
Firefighters and workers from the Lasbela Welfare Trust and the Edhi Welfare Foundation carried out the rescue operation.
The chief minister of Balochistan, Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, expressed his sorrow for the loss of life and ordered authorities to provide the best medical facilities to the injured.
Meanwhile, in the northwest of Pakistan, at least 10 children were killed on Sunday when a boat carrying religious school students capsized, officials said.
About eight students were still missing while seven injured had been taken to hospital, according to local officials in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the incident took place.
Kohat’s district commissioner Mahmood Aslam said about 50 students from a local religious school, had gathered near Tanda lake for a picnic. Twenty-five had ventured out on the water – which was closed by authorities for recreational trips – on a boat that capsized, he said.
The pupils who died were aged between seven and 12 years old, according to a list shared with Reuters by the commissioner.
He said Pakistani military divers were helping with the rescue and recovery efforts. Video footage by local broadcasters and on social media showed rescuers in the water. – Agencies