By Rafiullah Mandokhail
QUETTA/ZHOB, (Parliament Times) : Al least twenty-two people including women and children lost their lives, when a Zhob-bound passenger flying coach plunged into a hundreds of feet deep ravine near Qilla Saifullah district, Levies officials have confirmed on Wednesday. The accident took place about 200km north of the provincial capital Quetta. According to the Levies officials, the ill-fated van, with 23 people on board, had left Loralai for Zhob on Wednesday morning, but before reaching its destination fell from a hilltop near Adwala Akhterzai area of Qilla Saifullah district. Medical Superintendent at the DHQ civil hospital Qilla Saifullah Dr Akhter Mandokhail told this scribe that 18 passengers died instantly while the rescuers retrieved four more bodies from the wreckage of the van.
‘An emergency has been imposed at the DHQ civil hospital Qilla Saifullah. Rescue teams and local people rushed to spot and retrieved the bodies’, he added. The deceased included 11 men, five women and children respectively. A seriously injured child has been referred to a Quetta hospital for medical treatment. Eight of them belong to the same family and their bodies have been dispatched to their native area of Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan. Although the exact cause behind the fatal accident has not been immediately known, yet the officials concerned are looking into the possible mechanical fault or human error as the eye witnesses said the van appeared to be over speeding when the driver lost control and it fell into the ravine. In Balochistan, deadly road accidents are common due to the poor road infrastructure and disregard for traffic laws. Poorly maintained vehicles is also one of the contributing factors.
President Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and Member National Assembly Maulana Abdul Wassay have extended their condolences to the deceased families.