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Saturday, June 22, 2024  
15 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

17 killed as truck carrying pilgrims falls into ravine in Balochistan’s Hub

More than 120 people were on board the truck headed to Shah Noorani shrine
Truck fell into a ditch - Aaj News

At least 17 people were killed and 70 injured when a truck carrying pilgrims fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Hub district on Wednesday night, rescue and police officials said.

Initial reports put the death toll at 35 but it was revised by the police later. The bodies were moved to the Edhi morgue in Karachi where 17 of them were identified while two bodies were identified using DNA match.

Speaking to reporters outside the morgue, Sakro SDPO Wajid Ali said the driver was among the injured and had been arrested.

According to police, the Darga Shah Noorani-bound truck fell into a ridge near Ayan Peer.

Police and locals said that more than 120 people were on board.

Rescue officials feared that the death toll could further rise. Sources said that more than 30 ambulances of Edhi reached the site of the accident.

Police said that the pilgrims belonged to Thatta of Sindh.

The crash happened around 10pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday night in the Hub district of Balochistan province, district deputy commissioner Munir Ahmed told AFP, confirming the toll.

“The truck was overspeeding and it went out of the driver’s control while negotiating a turn” and fell into a ravine in a mountainous town as they approached the shrine, he said.

The travellers were en route to a prayer site during Eidul Fitr, which is currently under way, he added.

“The driver jumped out of the truck and remains safe,” he said.

Shaukat Jalbani, the deputy medical superintendent of Hub’s main hospital, also confirmed 17 people had been killed and said most of the injured had been sent to nearby Karachi for treatment.

The Balochistan government said that it was grieved over the incident, a statement said. The provincial government has imposed an emergency at the Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital in Hub.

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Karachi Deputy Mayor Salman Abdullah Murad also expressed his grief over the incident and added that the wounded would be provided with all facilities in the city.

Early Thursday, an AFP photographer in the southern city saw workers unloading the shrouded bodies of those killed into a morgue.

Road accidents with high fatalities are common in Pakistan where safety measures are lax, driver training is poor and transport infrastructure often decrepit.

In January 2023, 41 people were killed when their passenger bus, which was also loaded with containers of flammable oil, plunged into a ravine in Balochistan province and burst into flames.

(With input from AFP)

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