M A I N   N E W S

Pak players hurt in bus accident
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 12
Six badminton players of Pakistan Punjab suffered minor injuries when the bus in which they were travelling along with eight others in a cavalcade met with an accident near Hotel Amaltas on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway today morning.

It was, however, sheer providence that prevented a major tragedy as the Nijjar Transport bus had turned turtle after hitting another bus in the cavalcade and climbing over the central verge to the other side of the National Highway No. 1 at about 10.30 am today.

The cavalcade resumed its journey at about 2.30 p.m. when the injured were discharged after treatment and a new bus was arranged. The contingent then went straight to Wagah instead of Amritsar where they were scheduled to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

The injured included Taheer Ishaaq, Nadeem Ishaaq, Mohd. W. Ahmed, Wajid Ali, Ashraf Masih and Azhar Javed.

According to eyewitnesses and officials of the Ludhiana police, the accident took place when the driver of bus No. PB-01-4796 was overtaking another bus, allegedly from the wrong side. The rear side of this bus brushed with the front side of another bus and went off the road.

SP Pritam Singh said the cavalcade was escorted and piloted by police vehicles and cops were on duty along the route. He ruled out any kind of sabotage. Mohd. Arshad, chief official of the Pakistan contingent, also did not suspect any subversive action aimed at derailing the moves of improving relationships between the two countries.

He said this was unimaginable on a land where he and others had experienced so much love and care.

Fourteen badminton players and officials of Pakistan Punjab were travelling in the bus which was badly damaged. The injured were rushed first to the civil hospital in Ludhiana and then to DMC Hospital.

Higher Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar, Congress MLA Surinder Dawar, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma and other senior police officials and bureaucrats rushed to the accident site. They also inquired about the health of the players in the hospitals.

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