LASBELA - At least 27 people were killed in a collision between a passenger coach and a truck carrying fuel in Hub tehsil of Balochistan’s Lasbela district on Monday, officials said.

The bus with nearly 40 people on board was travelling to Panjgur from Karachi when it collided with the truck coming from the opposite direction. A huge fire broke out following the collision, reportedly because the truck was carrying Iranian diesel. Huge flames engulfed the coach and the truck and trapped those inside the two vehicles.

As rescue workers pulled out the bodies from the bus and the truck, the death toll rose to 21, SSP Lasbela Agha Ramzan Ali said. At least 16 people were injured, five of them critically, and were shifted to a local hospital.

Rescue officials including law enforcement agencies personnel rushed to the incident site, who faced difficulty in carrying out the rescue operation due to the intensity of the fire. Efforts to shift the injured to Karachi — made because of a lack of facilities at the local facility — were delayed due to an absence of ambulances. The injured were finally on their way to Karachi once Edhi ambulances reached the accident site.

Edhi rescue workers were making efforts to pull out the remaining passengers from the bus. Rescue workers are were also in the process of extinguishing the blaze engulfing the vehicles.

Multiple major road accidents have been reported this year, resulting in several casualties. In early August, at least 18 people, including women and children, died in a collision between a passenger bus and a tanker. In July, 11 passengers were killed and several others sustained injuries in a three-vehicle crash near Nawabshah.