By Rafiullah Mandokhail,
ZHOB: At least fifteen people including women and children burnt alive when fire engulfed a passenger bus coming from Dera Ghazi Khan following a head-on collision with a pick-up vehicle carrying smuggle oil in Kan Mehtarzai area on Zhob-Quetta highway N-50 here on Friday.
According to a Levies official Abdullah, the incident took place in wee hours of the Friday morning when the pick-up’s driver lost control of the vehicle that hit the passenger bus coming from the opposite direction. The pick-up was carrying containers of oil, which caused the vehicles to combust upon collision. The fire broke out after the collision.
“The pick-up was carrying smuggled Iranian oil and fire erupted in it as soon as the pick-up hit the bus. The fire engulfed both the bus and pick-up and reduced both the vehicles into ashes,” he said adding that the bus was carrying passengers including women and children on way to Quetta from Dera Ghazi Khan Punjab. One of the passengers narrowly escaped the incident and save his life by jumping off the bus. He added.
The bodies have been removed to the provincial capital Quetta hospital and will be identified and handed over to relatives after DNA tests. The hospital officials said the bodies are beyond recognition.
Initial investigations suggest that the accident took place due to over speeding and low visibility due to rain and snowfall on the highway.
Balochistan falls on a key smuggling route as the province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran, from where smuggling contraband fuel is common due to significant difference in fuel prices.
Earlier in January, over two dozen people were killed in a collision between a bus and an oil tanker in Balochistan.