Truck driver, dilapidated road caused Shikarpur bus tragedy, SHC told

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The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday that the bus accident on Kathore Link Road took place due to negligence of the tanker’s driver and dilapidated condition of the road.

At least 62 passengers lost their lives when the Shikarpur-bound coach collided with an oil-tanker truck on the highway. The local authorities had not carried out any repair of the road since it was constructed 20 years ago despite a number of accidents on the road, said the reports submitted by Regional Transport Authority and Karachi Traffic police.

In response to the court’s notice, they submitted their reports to a division bench which was hearing a petition seeking probe into cause of the tragedy. The RTA’s law officer, Fouzia Sikandar, told the court that criminal negligence of the tanker’s driver led to the accident, adding that uneven and dilapidated condition of the road was also one of the causes of deadly accident. She said Landhi fire station did not respond swiftly.

The official of the traffic police told the judges that the accident took place due to criminal negligence of the tanker’s driver. It was stated that the road was in dilapidated and poor condition and was not maintained since its construction. The KMC’s counsel also submitted a report stating that fire tenders of Landhi fire station had reached the sport quickly though it was located far from the spot where the accident took place.

SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar had converted into the petition a letter addressed to him by an NGO – Justice Helpline president Nadeem Shaikh Advocate and a relative of a bereaved lawyer’s family.

In the letter, it was stated that an advocate, Muhammad Yasin Ahmed, and his family travelling in the ill-fated bus to Shikarpur, lost their lives and their burnt bodies were beyond identification.

Advocate Nadeem said fire tenders of Pakistan Steel Mill were in close proximity of the place of accident but its administration did not render any assistance to extinguish fire. The Cattle Colony fire station as per routine remained open from 9am to at 5pm, adding it was very strange that the fire department was negligent about that fact and there was no check on their activities by the provincial government.