26 feared dead after pickup truck plunges in river in Kohistan

Published August 31, 2019
Search operation restarts on Saturday morning; search for 15 bodies continues. — File photo provided by author
Search operation restarts on Saturday morning; search for 15 bodies continues. — File photo provided by author

The search for at least 15 missing persons — presumed drowned after a pickup truck carrying them and 16 others plunged into the Kandia river in Kohistan last night — resumed on Saturday morning as expert divers and volunteers joined the operation.

The ill-fated truck had been carrying a total 31 passengers from two different families 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 last night before the operation was suspended due to the lack of sufficient light. Since the operation restarted today, 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.

Ubaidur Rehman, general secretary of Civil Defence, told our correspondent that the victims, which include women and children, belonged to two separate families

“We fear that the children's bodies may have moved downstream towards the Indus. Lack of resources and facilities are hampering the rescue work,” he regretted. He said police, civil defence volunteers, locals and divers were all assisting in the search for the bodies.

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.

Opinion

Editorial

Khorasani’s killing
11 Aug, 2022

Khorasani’s killing

OMAR Khalid Khorasani, a dreaded TTP ‘commander’, lived by the sword and very much died by the sword. But beyond...
Gross overreaction
Updated 11 Aug, 2022

Gross overreaction

The government has already done considerable damage to itself with its indelicate handling of the situation.
Dadu deaths
11 Aug, 2022

Dadu deaths

DISEASES that are usually mild and preventable in countries with developed healthcare systems often prove to be...
Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
Updated 10 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

One fails to understand how the senseless killing of a child can be brushed so coldly under the carpet.
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...