Students buried: violation of rules led to fatal bus crash
Faisalabad/Islamabad, Sep 28: The ill-fated bus which met with an accident near Kallar Kahar leaving at least 31 students and four adults dead, had no permit for the Islamabad route.
And the Motorway Police, always praised for its efficiency, failed to check the heavily overloaded vehicle carrying students of the Millat Grammar School, Faisalabad, for a picnic in the Salt range.
The bus veered off the road and fell into a ravine when its brakes failed. The 1981 model bus was reconditioned in 2002 and registered with the Excise and Taxation Department.
Secretary of Regional Transport Authority Mohsin Rashid said the vehicle examination authority had issued in June this year a road-worthiness certificate to the bus and it was valid till Dec 29, 2011. The bus did not have a permit for the route which was mandatory for all vehicles plying on the Motorway.
He said the vehicle had a capacity for 57 people, but it was carrying 108 children, teachers and others.
Sources said the bus came to the Motorway through the Deputywala interchange at about 6:30pm and no Motorway official bothered to take notice of the overloading or to check its documents.
The grief-stricken city of Faisalabad closed on Monday in mourning as bodies of children arrived and funeral were held.
The district administration had announced a local holiday to enable people to attend the funeral and help the injured. Moving scenes were witnessed when parents and relatives of the dead children received the bodies.
More than two dozen injured students were brought to the Allied Hospital where a special ward had been set up.
Asad Ali, a class six student admitted to the Allied Hospital said that the bus carried 110 boys and teachers. He said the school administration had charged each student Rs800 for the visit.
According to him, the school management had said that two buses had been arranged for the visit, but on Monday morning the students were surprised to find that there was only one decades-old bus and they had to board it.
While returning, he said the driver informed the teachers that vehicle's brakes had failed.
"The information spread panic and one teacher jumped out the bus. Most of the students were looking at the teacher who was lying on the road when the bus overturned."
City Police Officer Rai Tahir claimed that arrangements had been made to facilitate the affected families and a special cell had been set up near the school where most of the families had gathered to get information about their loved-ones.
At night, infuriated people hurled stones at district government officials and some local parliamentarians who were at the school.
The bodies of a number of students were buried in local graveyards.
Our correspondent in Toba Tek Singh adds: A class seven student was laid to rest here in his native village of Chak 315 GB on Tuesday.
A large number of people attended the funeral of Osama Shehzad and teacher Tajammal Hussain who was from Chak 408 JB.
In Islamabad, Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan constituted a three-member inquiry committee to investigate the cause of the accident.
The inquiry committee is headed by Dr Muhammad Shafique, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Motorways, and includes Shaid Yar Khan, DIG Training and Evaluation, and Muhammad Ali Khan, Assistant Inspector General.
The committee has been asked to submit its report to the minister within five days.
A Motorway police spokesman asserted that the bus had entered the main route from a small interchange where vehicles were not checked because staff were deployed at main interchanges.
The spokesman also claimed that a Motorway photographer had stopped the bus at Kallar Kahar, but allowed it to proceed at the insistence of the schoolchildren. He said the official had been suspended. Even at the Salt Range where the accident occurred, he claimed a Motorway official had signalled the vehicle to stop but it soon overturned. Dawn
Student killed in Swat college clash
Mingora: A student was killed and four others including a passer-by sustained injuries when two rival groups exchanged fire on the premises of a local college on Tuesday, police sources said. The sources said that the members of Pakhtun Students Federation and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf opened fire on each other after an exchange of harsh words over a minor issue on the premises of the Government Postgraduate Jehanzeb College in Saidu Sharif. A student identified as Musa Khan was killed on the spot while three others Hashim, Zafar Ali and Abid and passer-by Fawad were wounded. The injured were rushed to the Saidu Sharif Hospital where one of them was stated to be in a critical condition.
Private school principal killed
Rawalpindi: Two people were killed in different localities of the city on Tuesday, police said.
Five gunmen entered into a private school in Farooqia Mohallah located in the jurisdiction of Ganjmandi Police Station, and shot dead its principal, Akhtar Khan. Another teacher, who sustained bullet injuries, was shifted to the hospital.
In another incident, a young man, Zahid Mehmood, was shot dead by two bike-riding gunmen in Gharibabad.
Meanwhile, dacoits, muggers and carjackers took away gold ornaments, cash and vehicles in six hits in various parts of the city. The news
Tension at MUET campus
Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology campus in Jamshoro on Tuesday after activists belonging to student wings of some political parties resorted to aerial firing.
Reports said that the Sindh People's Students Federation opened its office at the university, which was opposed by activists of some nationalist student organisations.
The two groups resorted to aerial firing, which created tension at the campus.
Students of nationalist parties boycotted classes and held a protest demonstration outside the vice-chancellor's office.
A source in Mehran University said that after the intervention of security forces, students dispersed but tension at the campus remained prevailed. Dawn
60 fresh medical graduates demand posting
Karachi: Representatives of 60 fresh medical graduates, who were declared successful in the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) exams and interviews, on Tuesday called on Adviser to the Chief Minister Waqar Mehdi, urging him to play his role in issuance of offer letters to them.
Results of these 60 doctors were announced on April 7 but since then, they have not been issued offer letters and they are running from pillar to post for their jobs in the Sindh Health Department.
Medical graduates formed a committee titled Doctors Action Committee and its representatives on Tuesday met with Sindh CM's Adviser Waqar Mehdi at the CM House Karachi and urged him to draw the attention of the provincial chief executive towards their plight.
Dr Mateen, a representative of 60 doctors who met the CM's adviser said that following the announcement of their results by the SPSC, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed resigned and their appointments were delayed indefinitely.
"As there was no health minister in the province, our file remained with the health department for several months and then it was sent to the Sindh Chief Secretary, who kept it for another couple of weeks and now it is lying at the CM House for the last couple of weeks", he informed.
He said that the Adviser to the Sindh CM Waqar Mehdi confirmed that the Sindh CS office had forwarded their case to the CM and the file was received last week.
"We told the adviser that at a time when millions of people have been displaced by the floods after recent rains in the province and they need urgent medical need, delay in appointment of doctors would result in more problems for the people of Sindh, especially the flood victims", he added.
Mehdi confirmed that a delegation of young doctors called on him at the CM House and drew his attention towards delay in their appointments but added there was no delay in approval of the summary from the Sindh CM.
"The file of these doctors was moved to the CM last week and earlier it was lying with the health department and in the chief secretary's office. As thousands of files are forwarded to the Sindh CM, it takes two to three weeks on making any decision on each case by the CM, except those which require urgent consideration", he said.
He, however, assured the young doctors that a decision regarding their appointments and issuance of appointment letters would soon be made by the Sindh CM as he was aware of the medical needs of the flood victims and how helpful these doctors could be in disaster management in the province. The news
3 students killed, 11 injured as van overturns
Sukkur: Three students died and 11 others, including the driver, received injuries when a speedy school van turned turtle while overtaking another vehicle on the National Highway near Pano Akil on Tuesday.The van was on its way to Sangi from Pano Akil.
The van overturned when its driver made an attempt to overtake another vehicle.
As a result three students viz; Zameer Ahmed Ghunio, Najeebullah Kalhoro and Azad Jatoi died while 11 others received injuries. Driver of the van Ghulam Mujtaba also sustained injuries.
Motorway police, along with the area people, shifted the injured to taluka hospital Pano Akil from where they were transferred to Civil Hospital Sukkur.
According to doctors, nine injured were brought to Civil Hospital. Later, one of them was shifted to Chandka Medical College Hospital Larkana due to his precarious condition. Dawn