71 die in accidents on Kabul-Torkham road
A large part of the Afghan leg of the Grand Trunk Road, the Kabul-Jalalabad Road is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world because of the many traffic accidents.
Nangarhar traffic official Col. Asadullah Yousafzai told Pajhwok Afghan News there were 59 traffic accidents on the route in the eastern province since the solar year began March 22, leaving 41 people dead and 76 others wounded.
The dead included 19 men, five women and 17 children, he said, adding most of them could not be taken to hospital. The injured included 41 men, 11 women and 25 children, according to Yousafzai, who linked the many accidents to increasing number of traffic, reckless driving and the lack of second lane.
Civil Hospital director Dr. Humayun Zaheer confirmed receiving 1,281 people injured in traffic accidents on the narrow road, saying 11 of them had died at hospital. He said many others had died in traffic accidents on the road, but they had not been brought to the civil hospital.
Dr. Zaheer said there had been an increase in traffic accidents over the past three months, compared to the corresponding period last year, when some 200 people were killed and nearly 5000 injured. Some victims of traffic accidents over the past three months had been taken to other hospitals, Zaheer added.
Since March, 45 people killed and wounded in traffic accidents have been brought to the Ghanikhel hospital, the facility in-charge, Dr. Rahman Gul, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said those critically wounded were either referred to hospital in Jalalabad or Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Seventeen people lost their lives to traffic accidents on the same road in the Sarobi district of central Kabul province over the past three months, the district police chief, Col. Shah Ghasi said. Nearly 50 others were wounded, he said, adding there were accidents that involved vehicles plunging into river.
The highway also passes through eastern Laghman, where 15 accidents took place during the period, leaving 19 people dead and a dozen others wounded, according to the governor’s spokesman.
Sarhadi Zwak blamed traffic accidents on increasing number of vehicles on the road and unprofessional drivers.
A driver at the Kabul Bus Stand, Khayesta Khan, suggested traffic accidents could be reduced if unprofessional drivers were fined and kept off the road. Another solution, he said, was the construction of a second lane.
Commuters accuse drivers of carelessness despite narrowness of the road.
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