Driver killed as truck plunges into river

Updated September 10, 2017

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CHARSADDA: People gather after a British-era bridge on the Kabul river gave way on Saturday. A part of the bridge broke and collapsed when a truck carrying over 1,000 cement bags was passing through it.
—Shahbaz Butt / White Star
CHARSADDA: People gather after a British-era bridge on the Kabul river gave way on Saturday. A part of the bridge broke and collapsed when a truck carrying over 1,000 cement bags was passing through it. —Shahbaz Butt / White Star

CHARSADDA: A driver was killed and two other people were injured when a truck loaded with cement fell into a river in the early hours of Saturday.

The incident happened because a British-era bridge on the Kabul river, in the Sardaryab area, gave way when the truck carrying 1,040 cement bags reached its middle.

As a result, driver Ali Jan Shinwari of Landi Kotal in Khyber Agency was killed and his colleagues Hafeezullah and Amanat Khan were injured seriously.

Chief of the Sardaryab police post Siyyam Khan immediately raised an alarm, gathering locals and divers who began a rescue operation. The volunteers rescued the injured persons from the river and also retrieved the driver’s body.

The injured were moved to the Charsadda District Headquarters Hospital.

The bridge made up of steel beams and girders is known as the Gulabad bridge and was built in 1937 on the Kabul river dividing Charsadda and Peshawar, a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority official, Nowshad Khan, told reporters.

He said that work on another bridge was scheduled to start next year as the government had app­rov­ed, in the Annual Development Programme, construction of five bridges. The cables holding the bridge’s towers broke which led to its collapse, he added.

“The strength of such bridges depends on their cables,” he said. Heavy machinery would be employed to retrieve the truck.

Residents of the area called for the repairing of the bridge on an emergency basis. Police officials had to divert the traffic to another bridge.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2017