‘Overspeeding’ truck plunges into ravine killing 17 pilgrims in Pakistan

Passengers were en route to a pilgrimage site in Balochistan when the crash took place during Eid al-Fitr.

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Volunteers shift the dead bodies of religious pilgrims in a vehicle, after a truck accident, in Karachi on April 11, 2024. At least 17 religious pilgrims were killed and 41 injured in a crash as they travelled to a shrine in southwestern Pakistan, officials said on April 11. (Photo by Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP
Volunteers in Karachi move the bodies of pilgrims killed following a truck accident in Balochistan province [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

At least 17 pilgrims have been killed and 38 were injured after their vehicle crashed while travelling to a shrine in southwestern Pakistan, officials said.

The accident took place at about 10pm (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday in the Hub district of Balochistan province, police said on Thursday.

“The truck was overspeeding and it went out of the driver’s control while negotiating a turn” and fell into a ravine in a mountainous town as they approached the shrine, district deputy commissioner Munir Ahmed told the AFP news agency.

They were on their way to the Shah Noorani Sufi shrine in the city of Khuzdar, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported, when the accident happened during Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Police officer Sakro Wajid Ali said the driver, who was also injured, was taken into custody.

Shaukat Jalbani, the deputy medical superintendent of Hub’s main hospital, confirmed the 17 deaths and said most of the injured had been sent to Karachi for treatment.

Road accidents with high fatalities are common in Pakistan where safety measures are lax, driver training is poor and transport infrastructure often decrepit.

In January 2023, 41 people were killed when their passenger bus, which was also loaded with containers of flammable oil, plunged into a ravine in Balochistan province and burst into flames.

In August that year, at least 30 people were killed and dozens injured after a train derailed in southern Sindh province.

At least 22 passengers, including women and children, were killed in 2022 after a speeding van veered off a narrow mountain road and plummeted into a ravine north of Quetta in Balochistan.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies