Coaster crash on Indus Highway kills 6 pilgrims

KARACHI, April 25 : A coaster carrying pilgrims to Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine on Monday overturned near Manjhand on the Indus Highway, resulting in six deaths and eight injuries.

Among the deceased were Hashim Khaskheli, Farida, Bablu, and 5-month-old Ayan Ali, all of whom were taken to Manjhand Hospital along with the injured victims.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the deaths and prayed to the Almighty to rest the departed souls in eternal peace.

He directed the authorities concerned to extend all possible assistance to the injured.

Sadly, accidents like this are not uncommon on the Indus Highway, which lacks barriers between cars traveling in opposite directions and has a reputation for fatal crashes.

In an effort to improve safety, the Sindh government requested that the federal government begin expanding the highway. The Sindh chief minister laid the foundation stone for the project on December 12, 2017. However, due to a delay in funding from the federal government, the completion of the project appears unlikely.

Tragically, this is not the first deadly accident to occur on this highway.

In November last year, a passenger van fell into a ditch filled with rainwater, resulting in 18 deaths and five injuries. The van, which was carrying devotees of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar from Khairpur Mirs to Sehwan, had veered off the main road near the Sehwan Toll Plaza where a cut had been made to channel floodwater towards the River Indus.

Earlier last year, another tragic accident occurred on the Indus Highway near Manjhand town in Sindh’s Jamshoro district. A passenger van and a truck collided, resulting in the deaths of 16 people and injuries to two others. The van was carrying passengers from Naushahro Feroze to Karachi while the truck was heading towards Sehwan town of Jamshoro.

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