Punjab

Seven dead, over 45 injured in smog-related incidents over two days

Foul weather and smog continue to envelop numerous cities of Punjab, shutting off commutes, disrupting flights, and resulting in unscheduled power outages.
Over the past 24 hours, numerous road accidents have occurred due to low visibility, claiming the life of one person and wounding at least seven others.
In total, seven people have died, with over 45 injured, in traffic accidents over a two-day period due to smog and worsening weather.
Smog — a chemical reaction that causes air to be significantly polluted and hinders traffic visibility — has impaired traffic routes as well flight schedules.
The M2, M3, and M4 motorways have been closed off to all traffic. Extremely low visibility — worst being 0-20 metres — has created challenges for drivers and led to horrific accidents.
Road accidents
Three people were killed while 18 were injured in various smog-related road accidents on Saturday. Over the last 24 hours, six people were killed and dozens injured in various accidents.
Five people lost their lives while nine were injured in Kamonki when a passenger van collided with a bus on Friday.
A truck-bus crash on the motorway near Jalalpur Bhattian left one man dead and five others wounded.
A multi-vehicle accident on M2 motorway — near Sargodha section and involving eight cars — left 10 people injured.
The wounded were subsequently moved to Kot Addu Hospital, rescue sources said.
A passenger van slammed into a truck in Sheikhupura, leaving 15 people injured. All the wounded belonged to the same family.
In Lahore, four people were brought to a local hospital after they were injured in a car crash.
Four others were hurt after an oil tanker ran over a motorbike before bumping into a truck in Arifwala.
Flight disruption
On the other hand, some five flights out of Multan and Faisalabad were cancelled due to the dense haze.
Earlier, three international flights — en route to Faisalabad — were disrupted; they were consequently diverted to Lahore.
The smog has also triggered the closure of multiple sections of the motorway, primarily during nighttime.
Motorway police commented that the visibility had dropped down to only 25-50 metres at various places from Lahore to Bhera. Authorities have, therefore, advised citizens to be careful while driving on highways and strongly recommended the use of fog lights.
Power outages
Various power plants tripped due to smog, causing prolonged electricity outages in different cities — primarily in Punjab.
The Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) has announced to carry out hour-long, scheduled load-shedding every hour today.
On the other hand, the duration of power outages in many cities of Sindh has also been extended.
In order to curb the shortfall, the government has announced to re-open furnace oil-based power plants. The Chashma nuclear power plants which – according to the Atomic Energy Commission – were shut down due to a fault in the NTDC system, have also resumed producing electricity.
Health issues
The thick fog that is blanketing large parts of the province has disrupted routine life by causing adverse effects on the citizens’ health.
Many people — especially the elderly — have been forced to stay indoors since they experience difficulty in breathing, skin and eye irritation, and coughs.
Road closures as per Motorway police
Motorway
M2: closed off from Babu Sabu to Kot Momin
M3: closed off from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad
M4: closed off from Faisalabad to Gojra
Major roads
Road connecting Khanewal and Multan completely closed off to traffic
City-wise visibility as per PMD
Jhang: 10 metres
Faisalabad: 30 metres
Multan: 50 metres
Sahiwal: 200 metres
Lahore: 300 metres
Khanpur, Nurpur Thal: 500 metres
Inter-city road visibility as per Motorway police
Lahore-Bahawalpur section: 0-20 metres
Kot Momin-Sial Mor (M2) section: 50-60 metres
Sial Mor-Khanqah Dogran (M2) section: 30-100 metres