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September 28, 2020

Passenger van blaze in Nooriabad: Four more die, taking death toll to 17

Top Story

September 28, 2020

KARACHI: Four more injured who had sustained serious burn injuries in a passenger van fire in the Nooriabad locality succumbed to their injuries on Sunday, taking the death toll to 17. The police have also registered a case against the passenger van driver for negligence.

The injured persons who died during treatment were admitted in two government-run hospitals of Karachi – Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Civil Hospital, Karachi, where they succumbed to their injuries during treatment. One of them was identified as 55-year-old Abdur Rasheed who breathed his last during treatment at the Burns Ward in CHK.

He belonged to Hyderabad and his family took his body with them to Hyderabad for burial process. Though the identification process of the bodies is underway, six members of a family from Hyderabad were reportedly among the victims, who were on their way to Karachi to visit their relatives.

Besides 15 deaths, 10 more injured persons, including the passenger van driver, remain admitted to different hospitals in Karachi, Nooriabad and Hyderabad and five of them are in serious condition as they had sustained over 70 per cent burn injuries.

“Two minor girls aged between five to seven years, one boy aged about six years and eight women and four men were among the passengers who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Nooriabad SHO Abdul Latif told The News. “The driver picked up some 12 passengers from Latifabad while the remaining from other spots en-route.”

The bodies of 14 passengers have been kept at the Edhi morgue in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth for identification purposes. “DNA samples of the bodies have also been collected at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The samples have been sent to a laboratory in the University of Karachi,” said the SHO Latif. “The bodies would be handed over to their families after DNA results.”

Sharing the details about the cause of the accident, the officer said that the initial investigation suggests that bonnet of a Suzuki Cultus car broke off and hit the passenger van, following which the driver lost control of the vehicle.

“The driver lost the control due to overspeeding and the vehicle drifted off the road towards the slope. In the meanwhile, gas leaked from the LPG cylinders which ignited the fire and the vehicle burst into flames,” the SHO explained. “The LPG cylinders remained intact and did not explode.”

The passenger van driver, who sustained 50 per cent burn injuries, is among the injured persons. The Nooriabad police have registered a case against the passenger van driver for negligence and overspeeding. “The driver lost the control due to overspeeding.

He could have controlled the van when the bonnet of Cultus hit the van if he was not violating the speed limit on motorway,” the officer explained.

“The installation of LPG cylinders in the passenger bus is also a violation.” The police are also looking for the Cultus driver whose bonnet broke off on the motorway due to which the major accident took place.

The bodies of 13 passengers were recovered from the burning van on Saturday night after the Karachi-bound passenger van caught fire near the Lucky Cement Factory on the Super Highway near Nooriabad in Jamshoro district earlier on Saturday night. The Karachi-bound van coming from Hyderabad was carrying 24 passengers, according to the Motorway police.