KARACHI – A speeding passenger bus smashed into a tractor-trailer in Sukkur on Sunday, killing 42 people including 14 children and injuring more than a dozen others with many in critical condition, police said.
Several passengers were trapped inside the pink bus that was left badly mangled after the high-speed crash in Sukkur, 425 kilometres north of Karachi. Excavators were used to pull the tractor-trailer from the bus, as rescuers struggled to pull out the stranded passengers.
One eyewitness said he saw several passengers pleading for help. “They were screaming and shouting: 'save us, save us',” he told reporters. Muhammad Faisal, a senior police official, said: “Most of the passengers were trapped between their seats, we rescued them by cutting the bus body with metal cutters.”
He said the speeding bus was trying to overtake the tractor-trailer when it veered out of control. The collision was so severe, he added, that 25 passengers died on the spot. The dead included six members of a 10-member family who were travelling on the bus to visit their relatives in Karachi.
“We were 10 members of one family. Six of them died,” said 18-year-old Maryam Bibi, weeping. Bibi survived the crash along with her six-year-old brother. The dead included 14 children and 13 women, said Fida Hussain Shah, a senior Sukkur police officer, adding that the bus driver was killed on the spot while the driver of the tractor-trailer sustained serious injuries.
Shah confirmed that over speeding by the bus was the cause of the accident. Most of the 17 injured were in critical condition and several were transferred to a hospital in Karachi after initial treatment in Sukkur.