14 passengers burnt to death after van catches fire near Rawalpindi

RAWALPINDI Sep 13:At least 14 people, including four children, lost their lives on Tuesday when a passenger van rammed into a trailer and caught fire near Chakri interchange, Rawalpindi, said motorway police.

The Rawalpindi-bound Hiace van caught fire after crashing into a trailer from behind, National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) Inspector Mahmood Khokhar told DawnNews.

Firefighters doused the fire before rescuing the injured. Three children were among the five passengers who died on the spot; the remaining injured were rushed to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Islamabad, where nine more people succumbed to their burn wounds, said Khokhar.

Two women were among the three injured who were later taken to the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi, Khokhar added.

The survivors are also in a critical condition, said the NH&MP official.

The condition of the bodies is beyond recognition, so DNA tests were being carried out to ascertain the deceased’s identities, he added.