ISLAMABAD: At least 16 people were killed and 49 injured when an overloaded truck crashed into a ravine in Pakistan’s central province of Punjab on Saturday, officials said.
The accident happened near the town of Kalar Kahar, which lies 155 kilometres (96 miles) south of the capital Islamabad.
“The incident took place at Mattan village when a pickup truck carrying 65 passengers fell in a ravine due to being overload,” said Imran Akhtar, an official at the rescue control room.
“Sixteen people have died and 49 were injured including women and children,” he told AFP.
The injured were taken to a nearby government-run rural health centre, he said, warning that the clinic was ill-equipped to deal with with the dozens of casualties.
“The rural health centre lacks facilities and I fear the death toll might rise,” he said.
A local police official confirmed the incident and said some of the injured would be sent to other hospitals in Chakwal district which surrounds Kalar Kahar.
“The incident occurred due to overloading,” said Ashiq Hussain from the Lila police station.
“Many patients are being shifted to other hospitals in Chakwal and nearby areas due to lack of space at the rural health centre,” he told AFP.
Pakistan has one of the world’s worst records for fatal traffic accidents, blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.