PESHAWAR: At least 18 people, including three children, burned to death in northwest of the country on Tuesday when a gas cylinder exploded on a bus after it collided with a truck, officials said.
The bus was carrying passengers to the city of Bannu when the collision happened on a highway around 140 kilometres from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“The gas cylinder installed in the bus leaked after the accident and it caught fire,” said Dil Nawaz Khan, a senior government official in Karak city, where the accident happened.
“All 18 people on board were burnt…,” he added.
Hospital officials said six women and children were also among the dead.
“We received 17 bodies, including the bodies of three children and as many women. Most of the bodies are badly mutilated and could not be identified,” Sarfraz Khan, a doctor at Karak’s public hospital, said.
Witnesses and police said that the vehicle caught fire in no time and none of the passenger could be retrieved alive. All the passengers, including the driver, of the van were killed. Residents of the area and fire brigade extinguished the fire after hectic efforts. The bodies were moved to district headquarters hospital.
According to witnesses, the truck driver fled the scene soon after the accident.
The incident occurred on the Indus Highway, which connects Karachi with Peshawar via Dera Ghazi Khan. The van collided with the truck outside Poly Technique College, Karak.