20 killed, 506 injured in Punjab accidents in 24 hours

Several sections of Motorway closed due to smog

Our Correspondent

Lahore—A total 610 road accidents were reported in Provincial Monitoring Cell of Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) in all 36 districts of Punjab during the last 24 hours, killing 20 people and leaving another 506 wounded.
According to the data, 286 drivers, 16 underage drivers, 100 pedestrians and 371 passengers were among the victims in these road crashes.
Statistics show 113 accidents were reported in Lahore Control Room, which affected 103 persons placing the Provincial Capital at top of the list followed by 59 in Faisalabad with 64 victims and Multan in the third position with 33 accidents and 32 victims.
At least 16 people were killed and dozens others injured as several vehicles collided near Hafizabad on the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway on Thursday.
Around 12 vehicles reportedly collided due to dense fog and 50 people were injured who were shifted to a hospital in Pindi Bhattian district.
Six passenges amongst the killed have been identified as residents of Nowshera.
According to Motorway police representative Zeeshan the accident occurred at 6 am. Of the 70 injured, 65 minor injured left for their destination after receiving treatment. Five of the severely injured were shifted to Trauma Center, Hafizabad and District Headquarters Hospitals, Sheikhupura.
Four of the deceased have been identified as Hamid, Safdar, Mukhtar and Khushnood while identities of others are yet to be ascertained, said police.
In another similar accident in Faisalabad, two cars collided near Chiraghabad Interchange, killing three people including a woman. The injured were shifted to Allied Hospital.
In yet another incident, at least four people were killed, and one was injured as their car skidded off the road due to fog in Khanpur and fell into a river.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has expressed sadness over the incident and announced that the injured will get free treatment.
Smoggy/foggy conditions are expected in plain areas of Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Sukkur divisions.
The spell of dense fog has disrupted movement of traffic in Punjab prompting closure of several sections of the motorway on Thursday.
The M2 motorway, connecting Rawalpindi and Islamabad to Lahore, was closed from Sial Mor to Lahore in the wake of zero visibility due to heavy fog, a spokesman for the Motorway Police said.
The M3 motorway, leading to Faisalabad from Pindi Bhattian, was also closed completely due to zero visibility, he added.
From Islamabad to Sial Mor, light fog was observed with visibility 80-150 meters and the section remained open.
On GT Road, the visibility was 80-140 meters as light fog engulfed Kamonki, yet, it too remained open for traffic. In Lahore, citizens felt difficulties to set out of homes and travel due to heavy smog.
A 20-member special team of the Punjab government submitted its initial report on smog to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday. The report states that due to the climate change many areas of the city are under heavy fog, advising people to travel carefully.
A thick blanket of fog, or rather smog, in Punjab is here to stay, at least till it rains. While normally Punjab experiences foggy weather in December, the environmental phenomenon is unusual this year early.

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