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Bus accident kills 31 in Pakistan

An investigation officer searches the wreckage of a passenger bus Friday in Saeed Abad.Anjum Masih / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A bus packed with passengers returning from a wedding caught fire after colliding with a truck carrying flammable liquid in southern Pakistan, killing at least 31 people on Friday, police said.

At least 11 people were injured, some critically, when the bus lost control and hit the truck on a slippery road near Saeed Abad, a town about 142 miles northeast of Karachi, said Faisal Mohammed, a police inspector.

As many as 16 of the dead belonged to two Karachi families who were returning to their city after attending a wedding, police said.

Rescue teams transported charred bodies and the injured to hospitals. The bus was completely gutted.

Mohammed said the truck was carrying synthetic spirit, a flammable liquid used by medicine companies and chemical factories in Pakistan. He blamed the accident on poor visibility due to heavy fog and rain.

Another police official, Sikandar Ali, said the dead included 13 children, nine women and nine men. The bus driver died. Most of the dead had been identified, but others were very badly burned, almost beyond recognition, Ali said.

“The remains of some bodies look like coals. It is almost impossible to identify them,” he said.