Three killed as ambulance falls into Dir river due to snowfall

Published January 6, 2022
A man walks through snow in a hilly area of Bajaur. — Dawn
A man walks through snow in a hilly area of Bajaur. — Dawn

LOWER DIR: With rains and snow sweeping across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three people were killed and six suffered injuries in a road accident in Sharingal area of Upper Dir district on Wednesday.

The residents told Dawn that an ambulance carrying a deceased person from Peshawar to Kalkot area in Upper Dir fell into the Panjkora River in Shaheed area after the driver lost its control due to heavy snowfall.

They said volunteers with the help of Rescue 1122 personnel recovered the bodies of two women and a girl, Adeeba, from the river, while minor girl Aruba was missing.

The residents said six people were rescued. The injured were shifted to Patrak hospital, where their condition was stated to be out of danger.

Roads blocked, houses collapse as snow, rains sweep KP

The police registered a case and began investigation.

Also in the day, 135 goats perished as a house collapsed in Darora area of Upper Dir district due to torrential rains.

An incident of house collapse was reported in Kotki area of Lower Dir district. However, no one was hurt.

Samarbagh additional assistant commissioner Sher Rehman visited the family and provided them with blankets, quilts and food. He told reporters that the road leading to Shahi near the Pak-Afghan border had been opened to the public after brief closure due to the snowfall.

The administration set up a control room for the information of the people, especially tourists.

AC Farhan Ahmad said the link roads were closed due to heavy snowfall and work was in progress to open them.

Also in the day, the police deployed more personnel at tourist places in Hazara division to facilitate visitors as heavy snowfall continued for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.

“We have deployed an extra police force in Siren, Konsh and Kaghan valleys and Shogran tourist resort to extend all possible help to visitors,” Mansehra district police officer Sajjad Khan told reporters.

The DPO said the people bound for snow-bound areas should wrap chains around vehicle tyres and avoid nighttime travel due to slippery roads for own safety.

It snowed heavily in the mountainous parts of Mansehra, Torghar, Kolai-Palas, Upper and Lower Kohistan districts for the third consecutive day.

The Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road and link roads in snowbound areas continued to be blocked troubling tourists and other people. Heavy rainfall was reported in the plain areas on the third consecutive day causing severe cold.

In upper parts of Swat district, heavy snowfall blocked roads and disrupted electric supply for the second consecutive day.

Kalam, Utror, Gabral, Matiltan, Mankiyal, Bahrain, Gabin Jabba, Malam Jabba, Sulatanr, Elum, Marghazar, Sangar and other hilly areas were affected by the harsh weather.

The residents said heavy snowfall, which took the temperature below freezing point, forced them to stay indoors. They said over two feet snow fell in Kalam area.

Assistant commissioner of Bahrain tehsil Hidayatullah Khan said heavy machinery along with necessary manpower had been deployed on Bahrain-Kalam, Kalam-Utror and Kalam-Matlitan roads.

The provincial meteorological department recorded 45 millimeters rainfall in Mingora, Barikot, Kabal, Khwazakhela and Matta areas and forecast more rains and snowfall until Saturday.

Meanwhile, snow continued to fall in Upper and Lower Dir districts on Wednesday.

However, the rain stopped in lower parts of Lower Dir in the evening.

Lowari Top received around 14 inches of snow and around two feet of snow fell in Kumrat and Dog Dara areas. Majority of link roads in Usheri dara, Karo Dara, Kohistan and Qulandai in Upper Dir and Shahi, Miskini and Sia areas in Lower Dir remained closed to traffic due to heavy snowfall.

The Samarbagh administration claimed the road to Shahi and Bin Shahi areas had been opened to traffic. It set up a control room for visitors.

Both locals and tourists thronged the districts after snowfall, while most residents stayed indoors.

In Allai tehsil of Battagram district, snow fell for the second consecutive day blocking Bateela, Gantar, Pashto, Rao Kotkay link roads.

AC Asad Mehmood Lodhi told Dawn that no damage to public life or property was reported.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022

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