Seventeen children and a teacher were charred to death in Pakistan's Punjab province today when the bus taking them to school caught fire apparently due a leaking gas cylinder.
Seven children were injured in the incident on the outskirts of Gujrat city, located about 200 km from Islamabad.
The driver fled from the scene and police were conducting raids to arrest him. Police officials said the vehicle's gas cylinder was still intact and this indicated that the blaze was caused by a gas leak.
Footage on television showed the bus was charred by the fire that spread rapidly.
Two seriously injured children were shifted to a hospital in Lahore while others were being treated in a hospital in Gujrat.