GUJRAT: Sixteen children and a teacher were killed when their school bus caught fire in Mangowal area of Gujrat on Saturday, police said.
Seven other children were injured in the blaze which destroyed the vehicle.
The van was carrying 24 children to a private school in Gujrat, about 112 kilometres (70 miles) north of the eastern city on Lahore, when it caught fire, DPO Dar Ali Khattak told.
"The fire erupted in the vehicle when the children were only a few kilometres from their school," he said.
The blaze was apparently caused by a spark when the driver of the dual-fuel van switched from gas to petrol, he said, adding that the fuel gas cylinder was intact.
The children were aged between five and 15 years old, he said, adding that a female teacher also died.
DPO Dar Ali Khatak told that investigation has started and all the concerned parties including vehicle fitness officials will be investigated.
Another police official said the driver fled after the fire.
Five of the injured children were in serious condition, hospital officials said.
It may be mentioned that vehicles in Pakistan are mostly run on both petrol and natural gas.