At least 21 people were killed on Tuesday night while 12 others were injured when a passenger bus plunged into a ditch after colliding with a car on the Karakoram Highway in Shitial area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Kohistan district.
Speaking to Dawn.com, the SSP of Diamer District in Gilgit-Baltistan, Sher Khan, said the accident occurred when a bus travelling from Ghizer to Rawalpindi collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.
“Sixteen passengers travelling in the bus and five people travelling in the car lost their lives,” he said.
He further said that the accident took place within the jurisdiction of Kohistan but added that GB police were also taking part in the rescue effort due to their proximity to the site.
He added that officials were collecting information on how many people were on board the bus as well as the number of people travelling in the car. “A search and rescue operation is currently under way.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the lives lost in the accident. According to Radio Pakistan, he offered his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the deceased.
He directed the authorities concerned to provide the injured with all available medical facilities.
The report further said that GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid had expressed sorrow over the accident. He directed the administration and all relevant departments to evacuate the injured and to provide them medical facilities.
The CM also directed to set up a special control room for better coordination and monitoring of the emergency response. He also advised to send a medical team from Gilgit if the need arose.
According to World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.
Last month, at least 41 people were killed after a passenger coach fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela. Lasbela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum said 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.
BDST: 1028 HRS, FAB 08, 2023