More than 40 people were killed Sunday when a bus plunged off of a bridge in Pakistan and then caught fire.
The bus had 44 passengers aboard as it went from Quetta in Balochistan province toward Karachi before crashing in a remote location, according to the Associated Press.
“Forty-one burned to death,” Qamar Aziz, an official with the police in Lasbela, told the Washington Post.
Bus crash in southern Pakistan kills at least 41 https://t.co/qgPAthyM5G pic.twitter.com/yflJ9ZestH
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 29, 2023
Hamza Anjum, a government official, said three people were taken from the wreckage alive, but one later died en route to a hospital, according to The New York Times.
The bodies recovered were “beyond recognition,” he said.
“It is feared that the driver may have fallen asleep,” Anjum said, according to France 24.
He also suggested that speeding could have been a factor in the crash.
The France 24 report noted that “[r]amshackle highways, lax safety measures and reckless driving contribute to Pakistan’s dire road safety record.”
Local firefighters and volunteers responded to comb the wreckage for victims.
A Pakistan bus crash left 40 people killed, police said. The bus from Quetta, Pakistan fell of a bridge and caught fire. https://t.co/Nj8worTGDj pic.twitter.com/YzQ9j7PRhp
— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) January 29, 2023
“The accident happened due to over-speeding, and the bus crashed into the pillar of a bridge. It caught fire soon after falling (off the bridge),” Anjum said, according to AP.
He said all the bodies of those burned would be sent to Karachi to have their DNA tested. After the bodies are identified, they will be given to victims’ relatives.
WARNING: The following video contains images that may be disturbing to some readers.
At least 41 people have died after a passenger bus traveling at a high speed fell off a bridge and burst into flames in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
A senior official said the bodies of passengers killed in the crash were “beyond recognition”. pic.twitter.com/1KxbYOABbT
— DW News (@dwnews) January 29, 2023
The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 27,000 people a year die due to accidents on Pakistan’s highways, noting that government figures report only about 4,500 deaths.
In June, at least 22 people died in one accident when a van fell into a ravine, according to NBC.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.