UK & World News
Dozens Burn To Death In Pakistan Bus Crash
Dozens of people have died after two buses smuggling illegal Iranian gasoline were engulfed in a fireball in a crash in southwest Pakistan.
Passengers burnt to death inside the vehicles because sealed windows and hydraulic doors meant they were unable to escape from the wreckage.
The first bus, which was bound for Karachi, hit a truck coming in the opposite direction head-on, the two vehicles were then hit by a second bus and another truck.
The police chief of Baluchistan province, Ahmed Nawaz, said both buses had been smuggling fuel and were also carrying diesel-filled canisters.
He said 25 people, including women and children, died at the scene, while 10 more victims died on the way to hospital. Some 20 people were being treated for severe burns at hospital in Karachi.
Senior administration official Amir Sultan said the dead bodies were "beyond recognition".
He said: "These passenger buses travelling between Baluchistan and Karachi have automatic hydraulic doors and their windows are sealed because the buses are air-conditioned, so most of the passengers were trapped inside."
It is common practise for inter-city buses in the province, which borders Iran, to smuggle fuel, according to a bus driver who works on the Quetta-Karachi route.
Mohammad Hasan Lehri said: "It is routine, we are compelled to do this even though it is illegal and dangerous."
He claimed thousands of people were involved in the fuel trade and said a number then split the profits, suggesting even policemen were getting their share.
The accident happened near Gadani, which is 370 miles south of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.
Pakistan has one of the world's worst records for fatal traffic accidents, blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.