At least 30 people were killed and 50 others were wounded early Monday in a head-on collision between two passenger buses in southern Punjab, said local government official Zafar Iqbal. The two buses, carrying around 100 passengers, crashed in the town of Khanpur, some 800 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital.
Pakistan has one of the world's worst records for fatal traffic accidents. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, on average 9,000 road accidents have been reported to the police every year since 2011, killing over 4,500 people. The accidents are blamed on inferior roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.
“The bodies of the dead and injured could only be recovered after cutting through the vehicles,” said a police official. Rescue efforts are still under way.
Images from the crash site showed a bus on its side with its windows shattered, and another bus with its roof partly caved in. "As we were driving along, a bus came from the front. Our driver swerved and the bus overturned," said an injured man.
Local police chief Mehar Arsal said the buses slammed into trees after colliding with each other.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office said he has "expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives"