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Karachi

August 14, 2017

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CNG cylinder blast turns van into fiery grave for six of a family

CNG cylinder blast turns van into fiery grave for six of a family

Despite stressing on the crucial importance of allowing only roadworthy vehicles to be used to commute or for other travelling purposes, another unfit vehicle became a fiery grave for six members of family on Sunday.

Garden SHO Ghulam Nabi Afridi said 45-year-old Mohammad Saleem had planned a picnic at Hawkes Bay with his family, for which he rented a hi-roof van in the morning from a contractor named Farhan.

Afridi said the family had started their journey when the van suddenly caught fire a few yards from their house near Garden Chowk, adding that the CNG kit installed in the vehicle was questionable and had exploded.

The deceased included Saleem, his 40-year-old wife Nilofar, their children (14-year-old Sheharyar and two-year-old Abdul Hadi), their relative Beenish, 35, and her 14-year-old daughter Mehwish.

Eight-year-old Shehroz Saleem and 17-year-old Mariam Mohammad Ali were wounded in the incident. All the victims were taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi’s Burns Ward.

SHO Afridi said the business permit of the vehicle owner had expired, adding that the police had arrested the driver, Fahad, who had earlier escaped from the scene of the incident, as well as Farhan.

Two years ago, the traffic police had issued a standard operating procedure through the Sindh Transport Department for drivers carrying children aboard their vehicles. Later, another notification was issued that made a few amendments in the motor vehicle rules.

The rules made it mandatory for buses and vans to carry fire extinguishers. In the context of children, vehicles of educational institutions are not supposed to carry any fuel cans and be smoking-free zones.

The vehicles should have sliding doors and be inspected by the motor vehicle examiner every six months, besides maintaining a complaint book.

The vehicles are not allowed to make any alterations in the seating capacities and their licences can be renewed only by the Excise and Taxation Department after verification of their fitness documents by a third party.

 

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