Scores killed in Pakistan bus collision

A Pakistani policeman stands beside wreckage of a burnt out oil tanker and passenger bus on the Super Highway near Karachi early on January 11, 2015.

Story highlights

  • A bus crash near Karachi results in at least 59 deaths
  • Bus reportedly collided head-on with an oil tanker
  • Blaze killed most of the passengers on board

(CNN)At least 59 people were killed late Saturday in a fiery collision between a bus and an oil tanker near the southern port city of Karachi in Pakistan. The bus, which was overcrowded, was reportedly hit head-on by the tanker.

The driver of the tanker, which police say was traveling in the wrong direction on a dilapidated stretch of highway, reportedly fled the scene.
    Police are investigating whether the tanker was solely at fault, or whether the bus driver also bore some responsibility.
      Shoaib Siddiqui, Commissioner of Karachi, told CNN that initial investigations suggest that the road condition was bad, and the oil tanker was traveling the wrong way on the national highway.
      Most of the bus passengers died in the incident. Some passengers traveling on the roof of the vehicle managed to jump to safety, but those inside were trapped. Along with the deaths, several people suffered serious burns.
      Gul Hassan said he was at work when the news came in. Nine members of his family perished in the accident, including the family's 80-year-old patriarch and two children.
        "I am not able to recognize a single person as my family member -- that is how badly the bodies are burnt," he told CNN.
        Karachi's Jinnah Hospital has received 57 bodies, Semi Jamali, a doctor at the hospital, told CNN.
        All are burnt beyond recognition, she said, suggesting that authorities would have to resort to DNA testing to ascertain the victims' identities.
          Traffic accidents are a major cause of death in Pakistan, with WHO data from 2013 suggesting that the death rate from road accidents was 17.4 per 100,000 of population.
          The incident bore a striking resemblance to a previous bus crash in southeastern Pakistan last year, which killed a similar number of passengers.