HARIPUR: A woman teacher died when a boat carrying 40 people, most of them students, capsized in Khanpur reservoir here on Tuesday.
District police officer Kashif Aftab Abbasi told Dawn that students of a school from Sadiqabad area of Rawalpindi were on excursion to Khanpur Dam with their teachers. The school’s administration hired a double-decker boat for a joyride in the reservoir. When the boat reached the middle of the reservoir, according to witnesses, the boatman, as usual, started circling the ferry around a hillock.
The boat hit a side of the rock and swayed for some time before being overturned, throwing all the passengers on board into the deep water.
Since the children and all the teachers were wearing life jackets, they escaped unhurt. However, one of the teachers, namely Saleha Bibi, got stuck beneath the boat’s bottom.
The local divers and rescuers reached the point and shifted the students and their teachers to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Khanpur. However, the doctors pronounced Saleha Bibi dead, while a student, Shumaila Amin, who also suffered brief drowning, was shifted to Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi.
DPO Aftab said the police had arrested the boatman, Kaleemullah, and registered a case against him.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2022