Pakistan: At least 16 children and 1 teacher burned to death, 7 injured, after gas cylinder exploded on school bus – 250513 1105z

At least 17 children have been burned to death after a gas cylinder exploded on their school bus in eastern Pakistan, police have said.

At least seven more children were taken to hospital after the blast, which caused the bus to catch fire.

The incident took place on the outskirts of the city of Gujrat. Local media quoted the police as saying the driver had survived the explosion. Gujrat is about 200km (120 miles) south-east of the capital Islamabad. Compressed natural gas is used in millions of vehicles in Pakistan as a cheaper alternative to diesel and petrol. Numerous previous vehicle explosions have been blamed on substandard cylinders used to contain the fuel.
Saturday, 25 May, 2013 at 06:44 (06:44 AM) UTC RSOE

Other Reports

Pakistan: Gas Blast On School Bus Kills 17

Sixteen children and a female teacher die in the Pakistani town of Gujrat as a minibus taking them to school bursts into flames.


Men stand around a burnt-out school bus, after a gas cylinder on it exploded killing seventeen children, on the outskirts of Gujrat

The burnt out bus that was on its way to school


“Sixteen children and a teacher have been killed in eastern Pakistan after a gas cylinder exploded on a bus taking them to school.


Police officer Mohammed Rasheed said seven children were also injured in the blast on the outskirts of the city of Gujrat.


“This is a very sad incident. According to our information… children were burned to death,” he said.


“The school bus caught fire after the blast. We have transported all the victims to a nearby hospital.”


Gujrat is about 120 miles (200 kilometres) southeast of the capital, Islamabad.


The incident was described by the Associated Press as an accident.


The van was carrying children to a private school when it caught fire, local police chief Dar Ali Khattak told AFP.


“The fire erupted in the vehicle when the children were only a few kilometres from their school,” he said.


The blaze was apparently caused by a spark when the driver of the dual-fuel van switched from gas to petrol, he said, adding that the fuel gas cylinder was intact.


A map showing the location of the bus on which 17 died
The minibus fire happened in Gujrat, in the Punjab.


The children were aged between five and 15 years old, he said.


Another police official, Abid Khan, said the driver fled after the fire.


Five of the injured children were in serious condition, hospital officials said.


The newswire Reuters says many vehicles in energy-starved Pakistan are powered by relatively cheap compressed natural gas and cylinder blasts are common.”


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