Rawalpindi - At least 12 passengers , including two children, have burnt to death while five others sustained critical burn injuries when a speeding passenger coach hit a cement-laden trailer from the rear side, on Motorway near Chakri Interchange, police sources informed The Nation on Tuesday.

The tragic incident occurred at 5:10 am after the coach driver fell asleep while driving, said police.

According to police sources, a passenger coach bearing registration number (LZT-1212) was traveling to Rawalpindi from Jhang via Motorway when the driver fell asleep. As a result, the passenger coach collided with a trailer ahead of it, near M-2 Chakri Emergency Call Box Number 332 and a huge fire engulfed the van burning 12 passengers alive and injuring five others.

Soon after the incident, Motorway police under the supervision of DIG Ghulam Rasool Zahid rushed to the site and called the rescue team. The police and rescue teams retrieved the remains of dead persons and the bodies of injured and transported them to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) for autopsy and medical treatment, they added.

Doctors and rescuers released the identity of two deceased children as Muhammad Ahsan and a baby girl Alishba (2) while injured as Salma, Shaista, Muhammad Ali, Faisal Hayyat and one-year-old Abiha.

A spokesperson of Motorway police told media that the 12 bodies were burnt beyond recognition. He added that police are trying to contact the passengers’ families to ascertain their identity. The two injured are said to be in critical condition.