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Six children injured after school van catches fire in Karachi

SAMAA | and - Posted: Jan 5, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Jan 5, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Two children have been admitted to Civil Hospital's burns ward, the others have been sent home after treatment

Six children were injured after their school van caught fire in Karachi Saturday morning.

The van, which belonged to Madrassa Usman bin Affan, caught fire near the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town. All six children were shifted to a hospital with burn wounds, however, four were released after receiving first aid.

Two children were admitted to the burns ward at Civil Hospital, Karachi, said Dr Ahmer, the burns ward incharge. There were 14 children in the van at the time of the fire. The driver was not injured.

Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah took notice of the incident and has summoned a report from the education secretary. He said private schools must check the fitness of the vans their students use. The transport minister, Owais Qadir, has also summoned a report on the incident.

There was an extra seat installed in the van to accommodate more children than van’s original capacity. An LPG cylinder was fitted in the front of the vehicle, right next to the driver’s seat.

Related: All private schools have to reduce their fees by 20%: chief justice

A CNG cylinder was also installed in the back of the van. The rear CNG cylinder does not appear to have caught fire during the incident.

The presence of the LPG cylinder is in clear violation of the charter issued by the provincial transportation department, prohibiting the installation of LPG cylinders in school vans. It is safe to assume that the fire erupted from the front and travelled to the rear of the vehicle.

Ali Suhag, the incharge of the Sindh police’s accident and research department, who inspected the damaged vehicle, said that the initial investigation reveals that the fire started due to a short circuit. It is also suspected that the LPG cylinder was leaking and sparked the fire, said Suhag. However, nothing can be confirmed until the investigation is completed.
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