17 dead in Pakistan bus fire

Last updated 00:04 26/05/2013

Relevant offers

Asia

Survivor recounts harrowing ordeal aboard sinking Chinese cruise ship Survivors trapped in hull of capsized ship on China's Yangtze River Kiwi in Myanmar prison Philip Blackwood lost 20kg, parents say More than 2,300 reported dead in India heatwave, but doubts emerge over toll Pakistan agog as arrested top model Ayaan Ali leaves catwalk for court People-smuggling boat 'credible risk and threat' to NZ Murder charges over Bangladesh Rana Plaza filed Malaysia Airlines CEO says carrier is bankrupt 120,000 endangered saiga antelopes die mysteriously in Kazakhstan Body found in suitcase at Tokyo train station

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