Death toll rises to 27 in Bela incident

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Twenty seven people, including women and children, burned to death when a Panjgur-bound bus collided with a truck near Lasbela
 
According to the details, the bus belonging to Jehanzeb Coach Service had left Karachi in the evening on Monday, and met with the accident a few hours later near Lasbela Cross, around three kilometres from Bela City in Balochistan, reported leading daily Dawn News.
 
Some 12 people including women and children were killed in the accident, said Shabbir Mengal, deputy commissioner of Lasbela, shortly after the collision as the rescue operation was underway, added the daily.
 
He said: `We have moved some 15 injured as well. One of them appears quite critical. We are moving him to Karachi immediately. After the collision with the truck, the fuel tank of the coach caught fire and within no time, it destroyed the coach leaving only a few seconds for the passengers trapped inside to come out.
 
The deputy commissioner said many of them couldn`t make it. Their bodies along with the injured victims were shifted to hospital, he added.
 
Official sources quoting the booking clerk of the bus service said that 29 passengers purchased tickets from the booking office for travelling to Panjgur. `In all, 33 passengers were on board along with four members of the bus staff, including the driver,` official sources told Dawn.
 
The death toll has since risen to 27 after the initial reports of 18 deaths on the spot.