17 dead in Pakistan bus fire

Last updated 00:04 26/05/2013

Relevant offers

Asia

Body of NZ man who dived off a cliff to try to save his swept away girlfriend in Bali found Australian man given suspended sentence, fined $200, over jet ski death South Korean ferry that sank 3 years ago lifted from sea Nearly $7000 raised to bring home Kiwi man missing in Indonesia US, Seoul vow to punish Kim Jong Un, North Korea after failed missile test Planes were trying to leave and land as the air traffic controller slept the day away Piggy Bank' turtle Omsin dies after good luck coins poison her blood The Whanganui River was the first in the world to be given human rights, now it's got some sacred company Family of Auckland man swept out to sea joins search for him in Indonesia Magnitude 5.5 earthquake hits near Denpasar, Bali

Sixteen schoolchildren and a teacher burned to death in eastern Pakistan early Saturday when a short-circuit near a leaking gas tank caused their minibus to be engulfed in flames, police said.

Police officer Ijaz Ahmad said five children were also injured, three of whom were listed in critical condition, in the blaze in Gujrat about 200 kilometers northwest of Islamabad. The children were aged between 6 and 12, he said.

Earlier, police had blamed an exploding natural gas cylinder for the incident. The bus was powered with both types of fuel.

TV footage showed the charred minibus and victims of the relatives crying outside a hospital.

A schoolgirl told Pakistan's Geo news channel that the driver escaped when the vehicle went up in flames. Authorities said they were trying to track him down and arrest him.

Ahmed said the driver could have saved many lives. "We have been told that he fled from there when the children were crying for help," the officer said.

In a statement, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed "deep shock" over the incident and directed authorities to provide the best medical care to the injured children.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content