KARACHI: A Sunday picnic turned into a horrific tragedy as six family members were burnt to death while five others were injured because their van caught fire in Garden area of the city.

Rescue officials said at least six people, including children, were burnt to death and five wounded when their van caught fire early Sunday morning near the zoo.

As the van caught fire, passersby began dousing the flames themselves and rescued the trapped passengers.

Police officials said the van's gas cylinders are intact and believe short circuiting could be behind the fire. However, they are yet to determine the exact nature of the fire as investigations are under way.

The van's passengers 11 in total were on the way to a picnic, according to the injured family members. There were four children inside the van when it burst into flames.

The driver suspiciously fled the scene and is nowhere to be found, according to police officials.

Officials at the scene explained that four of the van's passengers were pulled out in time added that they have suffered severe injuries and have been shifted to Jinnah Hospital.

Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal took notice of the incident and directed Karachi's additional inspector general to submit a report.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ordered Transport Minister Nasir Shah to form a committee to probe the incident.

The committee will determine whether the van which caught fire was fit enough to be on the road.