At least 20 people were killed while 13 others were injured after a passenger van fell into a ditch alongside a section of the Indus Highway near Sehwan on Thursday, officials said.
Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Fariduddin Mustafa, while confirming the casualties, told Dawn.com that two injured persons were in critical condition.
He said the van was travelling from Khairpur to the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan.
“All the passengers belonged to the same family and were visiting the shrine for ziarat,” the official said.
Mustafa said that the van driver failed to see the barricades raised along the route. “There was a ditch adjacent to the highway where floodwater had accumulated during the recent floods.”
Meanwhile, the head of Syed Abdullah Shah Institute of Medical Sciences (SASIMS), Dr Moin Siddiqui, told us over the phone that 20 bodies had been brought to the hospital.
He said the deceased included eight women, six girls, and six boys, adding that the bodies had not yet been identified. “But they are from the same family,” Siddiqui confirmed, adding that the driver also hailed from Khairpur Mirs.
The Indus Highway was restored for the normal flow of traffic during mid-October. Earlier, a 30-wide cut was given to the highway to allow floodwaters pass towards the Indus River from various union councils of the Sehwan taluka.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) had made a diversion on the highway to allow traffic move towards Dadu. The highway was restored under directives of the Sindh High Court’s Larkana bench.