(20 killed in bus-oil tanker collision on Multan-Sukkur Motorway)

ISLAMABAD:At least 20 people were killed and six injured when a passenger bus collided with an oil tanker on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway (M-5), near Jalalpur Peerwala, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The coach was on its way to Karachi from Lahore. According to report quoting Rescue 1122 Multan, the dead bodies and injured have been shifted to Nishter Hospital Multan. Multan Deputy Commissioner Tahir Wattoo also confirmed the incident in a statement, saying that the passenger bus, which was travelling from Lahore to Karachi, hit the oil tanker from the rear side at Jalalpur Peerwala interchange on the motorway.

A fire erupted after the collision and 20 people died on the spot, the statement said. Later, Multan Commissioner Amir Khattak also confirmed the development in a tweet. He said the accident had taken place around 04:00 am on Tuesday. However, a statement issued by Rescue 1122’s provincial monitoring centre in Lahore said the accident took place at 2:20am on Tuesday.

Photographs of the accident’s site shared by the Multan’s Commissioner showed the charred wreckage of the bus and the oil tanker. The reports quoting the officials of Motorway Police, said the tanker was carrying thousands of litres of petrol and the apparent cause of the accident was the bus driver falling asleep.

A statement issued by the Multan’s Deputy Commissioner said the process of DNA testing was being initiated for the identification of the deceased. Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a traffic accident on M-5 near Jalalpur Peerwala Interchange on Tuesday.

In their separate statements, they prayed for the departed souls and commiserated with the bereaved families. The President directed to provide every possible medical treatment to those injured in the accident. He said effective steps need to be taken to avert such accidents.