KARACHI - A collision between two passenger buses and a petrol tanker killed 40 people in Gadani coastal district of Balochistan on Saturday, officials said, with many of the victims burning to death.

A bus travelling to Karachi collided with a stuck up tanker at Gaddani Mor, on RCD highway in Hub Tehsil, in the early hours of the morning.

“The bus and the tanker had a head-on collision and the oil tanker turned over, but the situation got worse when a second passenger bus coming from behind rammed into the first bus as it skidded on the oil spilled on the road,” senior administration official Akber Haripal said.

The first bus then caught fire and 40 people were killed, 31 of them burning to death while trapped inside the bus and 9 succumbing to injuries on the way to hospital, witnesses and hospital sources said. Amir Sultan, another senior administration official said the victims included women and children, and dead bodies were burnt “beyond recognition”.

Sources said that another loaded truck too ran into the already hit vehicles and all the vehicles caught fire. Witnesses said that some passengers too were carrying small containers of petrol and diesel, usually smuggles from Iran to Pakistan, which caused the fire to spread inside the bus in no time. Hub police officer Hasil Khan said that the buses belonged to Al-Habib Bus Service and Azad Dasht Bus service.

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