24 members of same family dead after bus plunges into river in Pakistan
31 Aug 2019
The photo has been used for illustrative purposes only.
At least 24 people were killed after a passenger van fell into a ravine in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the media reported on Saturday.
According to reports, the bus, carrying 35 passengers including women and children, plunged into a ravine in Upper Kohistan district, The News International reported.
It was learnt that all the passengers belonged to the same family and were en route to attend a function.
District Police Officer (DPO) Kohistan Raja Abdul Saboor said that the bridge collapsed underneath the passenger van as it was made of wood and could not sustain the weight.
“Rescue efforts are facing difficulties as the incident occurred in a far-flung area,” the DPO added.
The ill-fated van had been carrying a total 35 passengers when it met with tragedy over the Kandia river. As it attempted to cross the river over a wooden bridge, the bridge gave way under the load of the truck's passengers and snapped, plunging the vehicle and its occupants into the fast-flowing water below. Only five of the passengers managed to jump out of the vehicle and swim to safety.
Only four bodies could be recovered on Friday night before the operation was suspended due to the lack of sufficient light. Since the operation restarted on Saturday, seven more bodies have been recovered from the river. The search for 15 more continues.
At the moment, the flow of water in the river is prohibitively fast, due to which search teams are facing difficulties. However, Deputy Commissioner Upper Kohistan Hamidur Rehman has said that expert teams have been dispatched to fish out bodies from the river and are hopeful of making recoveries.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan expressed his sorrow for the victim's families and directed the deputy commissioner to expedite the search operation and use all available resources to find the victims and cooperate with the affected families.
Kandia is located in Upper Kohistan, which has been badly affected by frequent flash floods, making its roads extremely dangerous for travel.
About 70 suspension wooden bridges are being used for crossing the Kandia river and other streams, but most of the bridges are in dilapidated condition.