40 dead in Pakistan when a bus that also carried diesel on the roof overturned

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At least 40 people were killed and four others injured on Sunday when a bus plunged into a ravine and then caught fire in Pakistan's southern province of Balochistan, in the region's worst accident of its kind in nearly a decade.

"The bus crashed into a guardrail after taking a sharp turn, fell face down into a 15-meter ravine and caught fire," the deputy commissioner of the city of Bela, Hamza Ajum, told EFE.

According to the same source, the bus was traveling from the eastern city of Quetta to southern Karachi with 44 passengers on board, of whom only four survived.

Today is the most serious bus accident in Pakistan since, in January 2015, 62 people died when a bus full of passengers collided with a tanker truck

Muhammad Saleem/AP

The event took place around 3:30 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. GMT Saturday) in the Lasbela district, according to the local official, who explained that the fire occurred because the bus was carrying diesel on the roof. When falling off the cliff, the fuel ignited and flames engulfed the vehicle.

"Almost all the bodies are burned to such an extent that they cannot be identified," Anjum said, so they have been flown to Karachi for DNA testing while the four injured received treatment in the city of Lasbella.

The source said that the rescue efforts were hampered by the lack of visibility.

Today is the most serious bus accident in Pakistan since, in January 2015, 62 people died when a bus full of passengers collided with a tanker truck carrying gasoline in the south of the country.

Last October, twenty people died, including 12 children, after the bus they were traveling in caught fire in southern Pakistan.

Pakistan has one of the highest rates of traffic accidents in the world due to the poor state of its roads, deficient vehicles and the fact that public transport is often overloaded with passengers.

According to data from the Pakistani government, around 30,000 people die annually in traffic accidents in the country.

Sinking of a ship with students

The black day in Pakistan has been accentuated by the death of at least 10 children, when a boat carrying students from a religious school capsized at the Tanda dam in northwest Pakistan.

Pending the completion of the rescue work, the number of injured amounts to six.

The deputy commissioner of Kohat district in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has confirmed that the ages of those killed range from seven to twelve years.

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