HYDERABAD (APP) – Authorities on Monday started inquiry into the fatal road accident on late Sunday, in which at least ten people, mostly women, were scorched to death and scores suffered burn as well as other traumatic injuries after a likely CNG cylinder blast set a passenger van on fire following a crash.

The ill fated minivan with 19 passengers on board was on its way to Hyderabad from Karachi when a burst tyre caused it to crash near Nooriabad, some 70 km from the coastal metropolis.

“The jam-packed van rolled off the road after a rear tyre blew out. The vehicle went up in flames as soon as it came to rest in a ditch on the side of Superhighway. That’s when a loud explosion was heard,” sources quoted an eyewitness as saying.

According to sources, rescuers had to cut through the mangled wreckage of the van to extract the casualties, which were later rushed to Abassi Shaheed and Baqai Hospitals in Karachi.

“Most of the fatalities were caused by third degree burns and inhalation of poisonous fumes. So intense was the fire that it left some bodies charred beyond recognition,” hospital administration told media.

Among the injured was also 4-month-old baby girl, who succumbed to her wounds in Baqai Hospital.

“Seven of the injured, who were given first aid at Baqai Hospital near toll plaza on Superhighway, were later transferred to Abassi Shaheed Hospital. They are said not to have sustained serious injuries,” sources said, adding,”Most of the survivors saved their lives by jumping out of the windows of the burning van.”

The dead bodies have been moved to the morgue of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC).

“The unrecognizably burnt bodies will be handed over to the families after DNA tests. Relatives are requested to leave their blood samples with the Medico legal Department of JPMC. Our staff will start collecting samples at 10:00 am today (Monday) morning,” JPMC’s Medico legal officer (MLO) Raja Memon told media.

DNA Tests

The samples collected from the deceased and their next of kin would be then sent to a government laboratory in the federal capital Islamabad, he added.