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Islamabad-bound bus rams into heavy trailer; 10 killed

30 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Ten passengers were killed on Sunday morning, and over 30 wounded when a passenger bus rammed into a heavy trailer on the Motorway some five kilometres short of the Islamabad Toll Plaza. The bus was coming from Lahore to Islamabad.

The rescue operation continued for over five hours as the bus was badly damaged and passengers, including a woman, were trapped in the wreckage. The rescue teams kept trying to rescue passengers trapped in the bus but one of them succumbed to his injuries during the rescue operation.

Three persons including two children were killed on the spot. The rescue team shifted the remains of three passengers, and 27 wounded persons, including seven women and 20 men, to PIMS and four to the CMH while five passengers trapped in the debris of the bus were provided medical aid in the wreckage, the rescue sources said.

"Actually, the fatal accident occurred due to the negligence of the driver of the bus who was sleepy when he rammed into the heavy trailer. Later, the bus was trapped in the middle of the trailer," an injured passenger told at PIMS hospital, adding that it could easily be felt that the driver was drowsy and the bus was speeding but there was no patrolling cop to intercept him. "It was early in the morning and most of the passengers were sleeping when the collision occurred and wokeup on hearing a heavy bang," another passenger said. He added, "It was a shocking moment when the driver of the bus rammed into the heavy trailer when we were close to our destination."

"There was a hue and cry everywhere after the sudden collision, children were crying while many passengers seated in the rear part of the bus had jumped out of the bus and pulled out many victims before the Motorway Police and rescuers reached the scene," a passenger said in anger, saying that there was no check on the Motorway to control speeding.

Rescue-1122 said that they received an emergency call at 7.15 a.m. about the occurrence, adding that five vehicles with a 15-member staff were immediately sent to the scene that reached there in 12 minutes and started the rescue operation. "The rescuers faced difficulties pulling out the passengers trapped in the wreckage as the bus was badly damaged," one rescuer said, adding, however, that three dead bodies including of two children and 10 critically injured passengers were shifted to PIMS while three were transported to the CMH.

"Five passengers including a woman, were badly trapped in the wreckage and could not be easily pulled out of the bus," the rescuers said adding that the woman succumbed to her injuries during the rescue operation which took about six hours. The rescuers used different tools and strategies to pull the trapped passengers out alive, the rescuer said. He added that the wrecked parts of the bus were cut with care and it took time to rescue trapped passengers without causing any damage.

SSP Nasir Satti, incharge of the M-2, when contacted by this correspondent to seek his version about the role of his cops in controlling over-speeding, clarified that both the trailer and bus were not speeding, adding that the trailer loaded with cement bags was travelling at a speed of about 80 kilometre/hour while the bus was at about 100 km/h. Both were under the speed limit, but the reason for the accident was that bus driver was drowsy at the early hour of the morning. The SSP said that in his drowsiness, the bus driver rammed into the trailer at a speed of about 100 km/h when the trailer was running with the 20 km/h less speed in the same extreme left lane.

Nasir Satti, quoting preliminary investigation, said that due to the heavy weight of the cement-loaded trailer, a 30percent portion of the front of the bus penetrated into the trailer and caused heavy casualties.

Responding to a question, the SSP said that the Motorway Police kept a vigil during the early hours of the day when the drivers of public service vehicles are drowsy or sleepy to avoid such accidents. "The cops stop vehicles running in a zigzag way and ask drivers to wash their faces with cold water to make them fresh and then allow them to continue their journeys," Nasir Satti concluded.

End.

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