QUETTA: Six people were killed and 50 others injured when a powerful bomb exploded near a passenger bus in Dringar area of Mastung district on Monday morning.
Hospital sources feared that the death toll might rise, as many injured were in critical condition. Emergency was declared in all the hospitals of Quetta and Mastung districts after the blast.
Local officials said that the overloaded bus (BA 4755) was on its way from Quetta to Nushki. When it reached the Dringar area, it was targeted by a remote-controlled blast. The explosives were fixed to a motorcycle parked on the Quetta-Taftan International Highway in Dringar area. Reports suggested that the blast took place at around 8:20am when the coach reached near a speed breaker.
“As I slowed down the vehicle near the Dringar graveyard, there was a big explosion and great smoke and we were hit by splinters,” bus driver Abdul Hakim said, while talking to The News on the spot.
Minutes before the explosion, two more passenger coaches with over 100 pilgrims heading to Iran crossed the spot. “The two passenger coaches were being escorted by police vehicles and when I reduced the speed of my bus at a speed breaker, the blast took place,” the driver added.
There was a heap of flesh and limbs scattered with pools of blood in the bus and injured were seen crying, eye witnesses told The News. Six passengers who sustained serious injures breathed their last on the spot.
At that time, most of the locals were busy in their routine life. “I was taking breakfast at my home when I heard the powerful explosion. I came out, ran towards the bus and took part in the rescue operation”, Javed Iqbal, a resident of Dringar, said. There were pieces of motorcycle near the bus, he added.
Due to poor health facilities and paucity of ambulances in the Basic Health Unit of Dringar, the injured were shifted to a local hospital in private vehicles.Later, 13 out of 50 injured were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital, Quetta, while 37 were provided treatment in the District Headquarters Hospital, Mastung.
The Levies force and Frontier Corps (FC) reached the spot and cordoned off the area. Police believed that a “time device” was used for the explosion.Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani has expressed deep grief over the killings of passengers in the bus attack. He directed the concerned authorities to submit a report of the incident.