Pakistan school bus explosion kills 17 | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 25.05.2013
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Asia

Pakistan school bus explosion kills 17

A bus full of Pakistani school children has exploded, killing 16 pupils and a teacher. The accident appears to be related to a mechanical problem with the bus.

epa03715982 A view of a school bus after a gas cylinder exploded in Gujrat, Pakistan, 25 May 2013. At least 16 children and a teacher were killed on 25 May, when a gas cylinder exploded in a school bus in Gujrat. Some private vehicles use cheap gas cylinders for compressed natural gas as fuel, which can burst under pressure. The government has issued warnings against using unauthorized gas cylinders but has failed to curb the practice. EPA/SHABBIR KHAN EDITORS NOTE: BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE

Pakistan Explosion in Schulbus

The bus was traveling toward the children's private school in the suburbs of Gujrat on Saturday when the accident occurred. Gujrat is about 200km (120 miles) southeast of Islamabad, the capital.

Police have confirmed that 16 children were killed along with their teacher when a gas cylinder in the bus apparently ignited and exploded. The bus caught fire and was completely burned after the blast.

Seven additional children were injured and were taken to the hospital to be treated for severe burns.

"The fire erupted in the vehicle when the children were only a few kilometres from their school," said local police chief Dar Ali Khattak in an interview with the AFP news agency.

He added that the children on the bus were between five and 15 years old.

In Pakistan, it is relatively common for vehicles to run on compressed natural gas which is stored in pressurized cylinders. The cylinders are prone to exploding.

mz/ccp (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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