At least 10 children died when their boat capsized in the Tanda Dam lake in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohat on Sunday, according to rescue officials.
Rescue 1122 spokesperson Bilal Faizi told Dawn.com that six bodies have been recovered so far, while 17 children and a teacher were rescued.
“Four children are in critical condition. They have been moved to the District Headquarters Hospital Kohat.”
He said the children aboard were all aged between 12 and 20 years. “They were all madrassah students out on a day trip to the dam.”
Faizi added that seven ambulances, four boats, two recovery vehicles and more than 40 personnel of Rescue 1122 were participating in the search operation, which is under way.
Caretaker KP Chief Minister Azam Khan, in a statement issued later today, expressed grief over the incident.
He directed the district administration and rescue organisations to start a rescue operation on an emergency basis. “All available resources should be utilised for the safe recovery of the persons who drowned in the incident.”
Khan also instructed the commissioner and deputy commissioner of Kohat to personally supervise the rescue operations.
Mass drownings are common in Pakistan when aged and overloaded vessels lose their stability and pitch passengers into the water. In July, 18 women drowned when an overcrowded boat carrying a wedding party across the Indus river in Rahim Yar Khan capsized.