At least 51 dead in two accidents in Pakistan

Steph Deschamps / January 29, 2023

Pakistan was mourning Sunday after two tragedies occurred within hours of each other in the west of the country: the accident of a bus that killed at least 41 people, then the sinking of a boat that cost the lives of at least ten children.
A rescue operation was underway Sunday on Tandam Lake in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after a ship carrying 25 to 30 students on a school trip capsized, police officer Mir Rauf told AFP.
Ten children between the ages of 7 and 14 were found dead and eleven others were rescued, six of them in serious condition, the police officer added, noting that up to nine others were still missing. 
Earlier, at least 41 people died when a bus exploded after falling off a bridge north of the town of Bela in Balochistan province.
The lifeless bodies are unrecognizable," said Hamza Anjum, an official in the Lasbela district where the tragedy occurred.
One of the three survivors pulled from the wreckage succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards and the other two are in serious condition, Anjum said.
The bus was carrying 48 passengers when it hit a pillar and went over the railing of the bridge on which it was travelling.
The vehicle had left the Balochistan capital, Quetta, at night and was heading for the port city of Karachi, about 700 kilometers to the south. 
We fear that the driver fell asleep," said Hamza Anjum, adding that speed could also be the cause of this tragedy.
An investigation is to be launched to determine this and DNA tests will be carried out to identify the "severely mutilated" victims, the official said.
Transport safety is often questioned in Pakistan, where deaths on the roads are particularly high, due to poor road conditions, lax regulations and dangerous driving. 
Buses are often filled to capacity and seatbelts are not widely worn. Single vehicle accidents are common. 
A minibus fell to the bottom of a water-filled ravine in the south of the country in November, killing 20 people including 11 children.
In August, a collision between a bus and a tanker filled with gasoline on the outskirts of Multan, capital of the eastern province of Punjab, resulted in a similar number of casualties. 
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, more than 27,000 people died on Pakistan's roads in 2018.
Deadly shipwrecks are also common in the country, where many boats in poor condition and overloaded sail despite the risk of falling.
Many Pakistanis cannot swim, especially women, discouraged by conservative local mores. For them, full-body suits, which weigh a lot when wet, are an additional danger on the water.
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