At least 17 people, including three children, were burnt to death in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday when a gas cylinder exploded on a bus after it collided with a truck, officials said.
The bus was carrying passengers to the city of Bannu when the collision happened on a highway around 140 kilometers from Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
“The gas cylinder installed in the bus leaked after the accident and it caught fire,” said Dil Nawaz Khan, a senior government official in Karak city, where the accident happened. “All 18 people on board were burnt and only one passenger could survive. His condition is also critical,” he said.
Hospital officials said six women and children were also among the dead.
“We received 17 dead including the bodies of three children and as many women. Most of the dead are badly mutilated and could not be identified,” said Sarfraz Khan, a doctor at Karak’s public hospital.
Pakistan has one of the world’s worst records for fatal traffic accidents, blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.
Sixteen children and a teacher were killed when their school bus caught fire near Lahore in May. Authorities arrested the driver, who fled and left the van in flames.