MUZAFFARABAD: A truck carrying 12 members of a nomad family and their herd of sheep and goats fell into a ravine in Neelum valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday, leaving four of them, including a toddler, dead and the rest wounded.
Akhtar Ayub, a disaster management official said that at least 27 animals also perished and 17 were injured in the accident. It happened near Khawaja Seri — 132 kilometres northeast of Muzaffarabad and 5kms before the historic town of Sharda, at about 1:30am.
While driving up a steep portion of the road, the truck developed a technical fault and the driver lost control of it. As a result, it reversed and fell 120 feet down the road, he said.
A Rescue1122 official, who lives near the site of the accident, alerted police and others about the tragedy following which locals immediately gathered to carry out the rescue operation in the dead of the night.
The rescuers found Mumtaz, 10, and two-year-old Saiqa dead on the spot and shifted the injured to civil and military-run health facilities in the nearby town of Sharda.
At about 9am, Phullan Bibi, 35, and Nadia Bibi, 26, also succumbed to their wounds on their way to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital while three others were shifted to Combined Military Hospital, Muzaffarabad.
Mr Ayub said the truck driver had fled from the scene after the accident. The victims who belonged to Kahuta (Rawalpindi) buried their dead in a local graveyard near Sharda.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022