At least 20 people have been killed and 11 injured after a bus they were riding in Sunday reportedly struck a van parked on the shoulder of a highway in Pakistan and erupted into flames, officials say.
The accident occurred early Sunday morning near the town of Pindi Bhattian in eastern Punjab. The bus, transporting more than 40 passengers to Islamabad, struck the parked van, Sky News reported. “It seems that the driver of the bus dozed off,” senior police officer Fahad Ahmed stated, according to Barron’s. (RELATED: Greyhound Bus Crash Kills 3, Injures More Than A Dozen)
Ahmed further revealed the bus was engulfed in flames within five minutes of the collision, burning at least 18 people alive, including both the driver of the van and the bus, the outlet stated. Those who were not immediately killed were taken to the hospital in the nearby Faisalabad district, some suffering critical injuries. Upon arriving, two of the more seriously burned victims succumbed to their injuries, Mohammad Jawed, a medical officer at a hospital, told ABC News.
At least 18 dead and others injured as bus bursts into flames after crash https://t.co/8Yxk9axLTB
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 20, 2023
Passenger Imdad Ali told the outlet that most passengers had been sleeping at the time of the fatal collision.
“The jerk due to the accident woke everybody but the fire gave no time to passengers to escape. Flames quickly covered the bus like an envelope and all women, children and men were screaming,” he stated, adding that he only survived because someone pushed him through a window he had managed to break.
“Suddenly someone pushed me and I fell outside, thank God, and thanks to that man whosoever he was that I am alive,” he stated.
Ehsan Zafar, a spokesman for the motorway police, revealed that though fire officials reached the accident site within minutes, both vehicles were already engulfed in flames. Though they were able to extinguish the fire, the flames had completely gutted the bus, leaving only its steel frame, ABC News reported.