A jeep carrying voters fell into a nullah in Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday, killing six women and injuring eight people, according to local police.
The incident occurred in the Chhari locality of Dudhnial at around 12:30pm when the jeep fell into a 300ft-deep dry nullah, District Disaster Management Officer Akhtar Ayoub told Dawn.com.
He said the passengers were residents of Thanda Pani village located beside the Neelum River and had come to the nearby polling stations in Beesanwali.
The vehicle was “carrying people far beyond its capacity”, Ayoub added. “The injured have been shifted to a Basic Health Unit of Dudhnial.”
He further said that the election process at two polling stations was briefly paused following the incident. It later resumed.
The injured were taken to the Basic Health Unit in Dudhnial, from where five were transferred to Muzaffarabad for further treatment due to being severely injured.
AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas described the incident as “heart-wrenching”.
On Twitter, Ilyas said that he had instructed the local administration to cooperate in whichever way possible.
Local government elections were taking place in Azad Kashmir after decades, with the phase-wise election announced for Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur divisions on Nov 27, Dec 3 and Dec 8, respectively.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also expressed grief over the lives lost in the accident.
According to the PPP media cell, Bilawal said he was an equal sharer in the grief of the bereaved families.
“Shocked to hear the news of the loss of precious lives in the accident. May Allah grant them patience,” he said. “Local office bearers and party workers should also share the grief of the affected families.”