CHITRAL: Five people were killed and seven others received injuries when the balcony of a local hotel collapsed here on Thursday when it failed to withstand the weight of 15 persons, who had assembled there to pose for photographs.

Chitral police station SHO Sajjad Hussain told Dawn that 20 persons of four families including men, women and children from Kasur district of Punjab had reached the hotel late in the night and were leaving for Bumburate valley when the incident occurred.

He said that 15 of them went to the gallery on the third floor of the hotel to have photography from where they fell to the ground when the floor of the structure collapsed.

Four children remained unhurt as they were taking photograph of those standing in the terrace from the grassy lawn in the ground.

Deputy Commissioner Naveed Ahmed told Dawn that on his request, a helicopter of army air lifted the 11 injured to take them to Rawalpindi but due to the inclement weather in Lowari Pass, the chopper landed back in Chitral.

He said that all the 11 injured were in critical condition and were admitted to district headquarters hospital.

They would be airlifted to down country by helicopter on Friday subject to the weather condition.

The dead were identified as Fakhira, Imranzeb, Rutba and the couple of Ejaz Ahmed and Rashida. Their bodies were being dispatched by road in ambulances.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020