20 killed in M-5 mishap

-President, PM saddened by bus-tanker collision on Multan Sukkur Motorway

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: At least 20 people were killed and six injured on early Tuesday morning when a passenger bus crashed into an oil tanker and caught fire on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway (M-5) near the Jalal Pur Pirwala Interchange.
The sleeper bus was on its way to Karachi from Lahore and departed at 9pm on Monday. Around 25 people were on board with 22 passengers headed to Karachi and two to Hyderabad.
Multan Deputy Commissioner Tahir Wattoo confirmed the incident on his official Twitter handle, saying that the passenger bus collided with the oil tanker. Multan Commissioner Amir Khattak also confirmed the development in a tweet and said the accident had taken place around 4am.
According to Rescue 1122 Multan, the bodies and injured have been shifted to Nishter Hospital Multan.
The spokesperson of the Motorway Police said the bus caught fire as soon as the collision took place. It took several hours for the rescue teams to put out the fire. According to eyewitnesses, the fire was so intense that the flames could be seen from several miles away.
Traffic remained suspended on the motorway for several hours after the accident.
While the cause of the crash has not been confirmed, some police officials opined that the bus was overspeeding while others allege that the driver had fallen asleep.

Expressing grievances over the accident, President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed the implementation of effective steps to control traffic accidents. He called the need for following the traffic rules and adopting precautionary measures to avert the loss of precious lives in road accidents.
The president expressed deep sorrow over the death of at least 20 persons in a collision of a bus and oil tanker at the M-5 motorway.
He prayed for the departed souls to rest in peace and for grant of patience to the bereaved families.
He emphasized the concerned departments to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the tragic road accident at Jalalpur Pirwala Interchange, which resulted in death of at least 20 persons.
“Saddened over the loss of 20 precious lives in the accident,” he said in a tweet, terming the accident”very tragic”.
He prayed to Allah Almighty to bless the departed souls and grant patience to the bereaved families. “My prayers are with the bereaved families,” he said.