40 killed, 17 injured in Pakistan road crash
Forty people were killed and 17 injured when two buses collided head-on here in Pakistan's central province of Punjab, police said Monday.
Hospital sources said 13 of the injured were in serious conditions.
Police at this rural town about 40 kilometers (24 miles) south of Multan said a 72-seat bus belonging to the private Alhamra Service and a 30-seat minibus collided around 9:00 am (0500 GMT).
The Alhamra bus was on its way from Lahore to Sadiqabad in southern Punjab while the other was traveling from Bahawalpur to Jehanian.
Qayyum Khan, a passenger who received minor injuries, said the driver of the Alhamra bus lost control as he tried to avoid a cyclist on the road.
Farmer Mohammad Aslam said he heard a "big bang" and rushed to the accident site to rescue people from the wreckage.
A senior police officer said the accident was the result of driver recklessness.
"It has happened due to over speeding and reckless driving," deputy inspector general of police Shuakat Javed told AFP.
Both vehicles were mangled wrecks as police and rescue teams sifted through the remains to piece together what had happened.
At least 75 people have died in reported road crashes in Pakistan since Wednesday last week, mostly in heavily populated Punjab.
A newspaper van and a truck collided Saturday near Hyderabad in southern Sindh province, killing six and injuring two.
Eight passengers were killed and eight others injured Friday in another collision between two buses near Sargodha in central Punjab, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said.
Thirteen people died and 30 were injured Wednesday when a passenger bus traveling from Hajira fell into a ditch near Rawalakot in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
In another accident Wednesday, nine people were killed and several others injured at Sargodha city in Punjab -- JEHANIAN (AFP)
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