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11-year-old girl, parents drown in selfie accident near Peshawar

Published Aug 16, 2016 03:44pm


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PESHAWAR: An 11-year-old girl drowned on Tuesday after falling into a river while attempting to take a selfie and her parents also died trying to save her, officials said.

The drownings occurred in the Kunhar river that flows through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at a hilly tourist spot in Beesian village, some 200 kilometres north of Islamabad.

The deep, rocky and fast flowing river is popular for white-water rafting.

“The girl, Safia Atif, was trying to take a selfie along the river when she slipped and fell,” local police official Arshad Khan told AFP, explaining the incident was witnessed by other tourists.

Safia's mother Shazia Atif then jumped in to save her daughter but was swept away.

“Seeing both his wife and daughter drowning, the father Atif Hussain also jumped in to rescue them but he met a similar fate,” Khan added.

“The dead bodies of the mother and daughter have been recovered while we are still looking for the body of Hussain,” he added.

He said the parents were doctors from Punjab and had taken their family to the area on holiday. They are survived by a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son who witnessed the event.

“Both of them are in the protective custody of the local administration and they will be handed over to their family members when they arrive,” he said.

The incident was confirmed by other administration officials and family members of the deceased.

One official said the government had put up signs warning people not to go near the river.

“Each year around a dozen people drown here,” he said requesting not to be named.

“This is a tourist spot and people usually come here for picnic and most of them are outsiders who have no idea about the depth of the river,” he said.


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Comments (70) Closed

Abid Khan Aug 16, 2016 03:54pm

very sad news !! RIP

Sajj Mahmood Aug 16, 2016 03:54pm

Very tragic sad and feel sorry for children

Bakshu Aug 16, 2016 03:55pm

Why administration can't put some security barrier or caution note there.

Naveed Aug 16, 2016 03:58pm

The last picture horror show. People simply do not understand how to use technology safely and productively.

Without attempting to take that one selfie, these souls would be around! What a price to pay for one silly picture.

Wasi Qureshi Aug 16, 2016 04:03pm

"They are survived by a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son who witnessed the event." This hurts me more very sad. :(

Iqbal Hadi Zaidi Aug 16, 2016 04:04pm

Whom to blame other than stupidity, rather, height of stupidity to die alike. Self projection is costing lives, gorget about money but when one turns crazy then none can stop him /her which may end up like this. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi

ALISHBA Aug 16, 2016 04:17pm

Selfie Fever!

Khurshid Ahmed Aug 16, 2016 04:20pm

It is not near Peshawar it is rather 220km away from Peshawar exact location is Mansehra from where the Kunhar river flows.

Uzma Aug 16, 2016 04:21pm

How tragic!Why do we blindly copy the stupid habits of a few senseless idiots and popularise them into so-called trends? What a sad sad event!

Mahmood Aug 16, 2016 04:27pm

The downside of modernization and progress.

It is tragic that a nation which ranks so low in literacy is in a race to use and misuse technology, without any thought to productive purposes or personal safety.

Mike London Aug 16, 2016 04:30pm

very very sad.

Ayub Aug 16, 2016 04:32pm

Very unfortunate incident.

Saleem Amjad Aug 16, 2016 04:35pm

Tears in my eyes as I'm reading this news, I don't know how to react upon it.

A Shah Aug 16, 2016 04:35pm


Amer RAO Aug 16, 2016 04:35pm

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un., Really very sad news.

Mohammad Sadiq Aug 16, 2016 04:37pm

It happened due to careless of parent. why parent allowed their daughter for taking selfie on risky place.

Someone Aug 16, 2016 04:43pm

Sad incident. My personal observation is that many of our kids (even from effluent families) when taken on vacations do not behave like civilized kids. I have seen the kids of Goras, they are so well-mannered and always stay with their parents, and act upon their advice.

Hassan (Karachi) Aug 16, 2016 04:47pm

“Each year around a dozen people drown here,”

The local administration should allocate funds to building a guard rail. If this is a annual massacre, that is the least we can do.

Skeptic Aug 16, 2016 05:08pm

Three lives lost for a stupid selfie! People, think before you take risk for such silly adventures. This is the height of stupidity to stand so close to gushing rivers or edge pf a cliff, or bridges!

Khan Aug 16, 2016 05:25pm

Sad incident ... and i think an 11 year old should not have a cell phone !! Parents should be strict about it !!

MJS Aug 16, 2016 05:36pm

Its a very very tragic incident. May God rest the departed souls in peace and give extreme courage to their daughter 9 years old and son 6 years old to face life without them.

Oh God what is your hikmat in this no body knows.

Another Indian sri1 Aug 16, 2016 05:40pm

RIP, very pained by this. The surviving children witnessed all this horror, pray they become strong emotionally, psychologically and become able to put his tragedy behind them. Pray that they get a loving family to help them come up again in life.

Khalid Aug 16, 2016 05:47pm

Being a a father myself I understand why his parents jumps to save her daughter and can not imagine the scene of drowning the parents unfolded in front of the survived childrens. Really saddened to know this. Such a cruel world.

Noor Aug 16, 2016 06:17pm

@Wasi Qureshi ..true..same here.very touching,tragic..beyond words

Noor Aug 16, 2016 06:20pm

@Saleem Amjad...same here :(

TruthOnly Aug 16, 2016 06:20pm

Tragic and sad This is what the social media and its blind sociality can cause ! Selfies are not taken to keep it to self..most likely to upload on social media and this has become a menace now claiming lives all over the world! Stop people before such tragic incidents become the norm!

moe2 Aug 16, 2016 06:35pm

They need to put warning signs and place barriers in critical locations around the places where people gather

waqas Aug 16, 2016 06:37pm

Craze to get a Selfie, kills yet another..

Fasiha Aug 16, 2016 06:53pm

What a heartbreaking and tragic news. My heart cries for little girl that died capturing a happy moment, and her parents who died saving her :(. Spare a thought for two kids left behind.

Expect better from KP government. If they cannot afford to hire rescue guards at a place that is popular among tourists, at least have some protective grill or place a notice so that the parents could stop their kids. Shouting atop containers does not save lives. DO WHAT YOU ARE PAID TO DO!!!

mo Aug 16, 2016 07:04pm

@Wasi Qureshi YEs that last line about the remaining children is heartbreaking. Really brought tears to my eyes ! I hope god will protect them and they grow up to be happy individuals.

Alba Aug 16, 2016 07:05pm

Never jump in the water to save a drowning adult person if you can find a rope or a pole or a tree branch to fish them out. No reason for her mother to jump in the river jump in the river wearing a burka either. Remove burka and shoes. The parents did what they could but they all went together.

Zarak Khan Aug 16, 2016 07:22pm

Very sad.. plz avoid taking selfies while driving.

S? Aug 16, 2016 07:38pm

People are going crazy over these selfies.. On the hill tops, high rise building, steep rocks... Everywhere , any where .. Selfies and selfies.. Risking their lives and others .. Feel sorry for the little ones who are left behind in this family :(

Rajan Aug 16, 2016 07:52pm

salute to selfless spirit of mother and father...that is human nature...provided by God

Farooq Aug 16, 2016 07:57pm

Really tragic and sad. The local government should learn from these incidents and should take measures to avoid loss of precious lives. The constructive thing is to take necessary steps by educating visitors through sign boards, building protective railing and assigning life guards etc. May God give courage to the surviving members of family to successfully go through hard journey that is ahead of them.

M.Z, USA Aug 16, 2016 08:16pm

Oh may God, very, very sad news. Very tragic.

Sixer from Chakwal Aug 16, 2016 08:31pm

Selfie or not, first of all do not give mobile phones to children

saeeds Aug 16, 2016 08:37pm

Sad RIP. lease follow the law usually its safe life.

shahram Aug 16, 2016 09:06pm

i would have done the same.

Ali Raza Aug 16, 2016 09:07pm

very sad..

Javed Aug 16, 2016 09:21pm

If this has happened in America then a trust would have been established already for the two kids left who just lost their parents and sister which is so unfortunate. As a community we need people and government to help the remaining kids of this horrible accident. Please raise voice people and make life easy for the kids who are without parents now.

arif khan Aug 16, 2016 09:27pm

Dr.Naveed Atif Was assistant professor in Ghazi Khan Medical College. The family belongs to my Mohallah Block 13, home town D.G. Khan. RIP Dr.Naveed Atif, his wife and daughter. The family has left a son and a daughter behind to bear this loss.

Khwarizmi Aug 16, 2016 09:48pm

Very sad news. I hope tbis serve as a lesson to all as we can not expect government(s) to implement security messures around turist sport or even on our roads.

Inzy Again Aug 16, 2016 09:49pm

ban mobiles that enable selfies - that is mobiles with front facing cameras. Too many innocent people are losing their lives due to selfie fever

Concerned Citizen Aug 16, 2016 10:36pm

This is very tragic. Selfies can be dangerous, in many countries same thing has happened. I live in US, and last month a woman died in the Grand Canyon National Park, taking a selfie, on a Canyon top and fell from the cliff. She moved back just a bit to make way for another man to pass by. People need to be more careful, specially when they are in the thrilling and excited mood in nature thinking that they safe, but really they may not be that safe

syed Ali Raza Aug 16, 2016 11:25pm

feeling affection,love force us to do stupidly act,

Tabassum Qureshi Aug 17, 2016 01:33am

If the administration is aware of the danger and tourists drown there every year then why there are no precautionary and protective measures in place. Shows the pathetic state of affairs in general.

W Ahmed Aug 17, 2016 03:39am

Children must be taught the right usage of the technology before handing over any equipment. The parents should consider the age group too.

Children are being deprived of a sound sleep in the night hours that may invoke severe psychological issues, in addition to growth problems. It's our responsibility to keep our children away from any darkness.

Afridi Aug 17, 2016 03:41am

Very sad indeed, three precious and innocent lives wasted due to One Wrong Move at a wrong place. Picnic with a tragic end so sad. RIP

Khan Sb Aug 17, 2016 05:16am

@Hassan (Karachi) @BAKSHU @MOE2 Warning signs by the administration is enough. Do you think that a barrier will stop this nonsense? Do you see a barrier around grand canyon, many of the waterfalls in the western nations? It is a pity we have no regard for rules or common sense, hence, tragedy befalls us. MayAllah have mercy on the departed souls.

Manu Aug 17, 2016 05:28am

It's a pain. I feel so sorry for parents and the daughter. I know, how much pain is when u lose u r own kid. I wish all 3 of them could have saved. One thing is the pain for living is much much bigger than being dead. I lost my only young son last year. I still don't feel living. I w8sh I could have done same, but I got daughter to take care of.

saeed Aug 17, 2016 06:37am

@Bakshu Read the article they did

Pakistani Aug 17, 2016 07:04am

This is sad, alway obey rules of the region you visit because you are obviously not familiar with the region your visiting.

AYK Aug 17, 2016 08:05am

With tourists flocking in Naran and Kaghan valley such incidents have become a norm. Some years ago a similar incident happened when a serving Col jumped after his 8 years old daughter. Unfortunately water engulfed both of them. Tourists specially those visiting for the first time underestimate the force of Kunhar River. Although water seems attractive and shallow ,the force with which it gushes downstream is immense and enough to take away a full grown man. So all those visiting swat, kaghan and neelum valley... please stay away from river.

Hasan Aug 17, 2016 08:19am

The emphasis of this story shouldn't be how dangerous selfies and cell phones are, more importantly we should be aware of the importance of teaching your kids how to properly swim and learn to survive such a accident.

SinghBling Aug 17, 2016 08:44am

I am deeply saddened, its time to say good bye to the crazy selfie culture..Everyday can find such news elsewhere

Muhammed Asim Rao Aug 17, 2016 08:49am

sad news. A selfie took these three precious lives.....

my heart goes out to those kids who are alive and would suffer now for rest of their lives ....

always be careful and watch for your surroundings before taking any step

Sardar Terabaap Aug 17, 2016 09:54am

Condolences from the Republic of India. Very sad outcome and two surviving children. Perhaps government t of Pakistan can provide for them now.

Johnny Aug 17, 2016 09:57am

Prayers from India for this family

Zubair Rao Aug 17, 2016 11:34am

Too sad !!! Selfie is killer nowadays ...

ahmed Aug 17, 2016 05:27pm

Why this mania with taking photos and selfies?

Farhan Aug 17, 2016 07:05pm

@Naveed , She was just a kid (I dont think there's any more words required to make you understand).

Ayaz Abbasi Aug 18, 2016 09:52am

Very tragic saddest news... It interprets the real love of the parents for their child ending at the sacrifice of precious lives. But, one must not play with lives for these foolish activities! Selfie does not mean to kill oneself.

J.Khanm Aug 18, 2016 10:21am

They are survived by a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son who witnessed the event.

This is one of the most tragic lines I have read this year on this site.

The parents should've thought twice about their remaining responsibilities.

Aamir Khan Aug 18, 2016 11:39am

Every time we are writing about he drowning of people and sad incidents, but no one can make a rescue team or help centre for those.

Abbas Aug 18, 2016 12:03pm

@Iqbal Hadi Zaidi Accidents happen. Civilized people sympathize with victim. You comment is too harsh.

Hussain Aug 18, 2016 12:19pm

@Bakshu : Do not blame administration for personal error of tourists. Rather than blaming administration, we should be behave like responsible citizens to avoiding unnecessary risks.

Sekhar Aug 18, 2016 12:46pm

This selfie mania is a dangerous disease affecting the human race. In India, we are hearing some places are going to be declared no-selfie zones. Hope that happens in other countries also.

Zeb Aug 18, 2016 10:49pm

A very tragic affair. The 2 surviving children must be so sad without their parents.

Ben Dover Aug 19, 2016 10:56am

Stupid selfie craze. Very sad. Hope the kids will be fine.