Six of a family, including five children, died on Thursday after a boat capsized in a private water park near Nawabshah-Daur bypass.
Shahnaz, 55, and her nephews and nieces Kashish, 11, Komal, 8, Siddiq, 6, and Aijaz, 4 ─ who were all siblings ─ along with another 6-year-old nephew, Husnain, died due to drowning after a boat they had boarded in the private water reservoir, overturned.
The family of the deceased informed Dawn that the water facility, spread over acres, was private property with no rescue service or facility of life jackets available.
People from nearby villages, upon receiving news of the incident, notified rescue services after which divers reached the site and started the search operation.
There were 22 people onboard when the boat capsized, however, other adults managed to save their lives, the eyewitnesses added.
The rescuers managed to take out the bodies of the drowned after which they were shifted to Nawabshah's Peoples Medical University Hospital where they were pronounced dead by doctors.
Anila Naich, mother of the deceased children, and relatives Ali Hassan Naich and Ali Akbar Naich, while speaking to Dawn, said the family had come to the facility for recreational purposes, completely unaware that it would prove so disastrous.
Station House Officer (SHO) Taluka Police Station Asghar Awan told Dawn that they have arrested the boat operator.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shaheed Benazirabad Nauman Siddiq Latki said the district government would provide support and compensation to the bereaved family.
He said the private facility did not have permission to operate as a water park and was thus illegal.
DC Latki added that investigation was underway to ascertain more facts about the existence of such facilities.