KOHAT: The death toll in the Tanda Dam lake boat capsize incident rose to 58 as 21 more bodies were recovered with one still missing on Tuesday.
All the victims were students of a local seminary.
The rescue operation continued for the third day on Tuesday by the Pak Army, the volunteers of Al-Khidmat Foundation, the police and civil defence from Kohat, Malakand, Nowshera and Bannu.
According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations here on Tuesday, army engineers, divers of Special Services Group and volunteers had so far recovered 58 bodies from the dam. It said that five children were rescued alive and hospitalised on the first day of the rescue operation.
Meanwhile, funeral prayers of the children recovered on Tuesday were offered in Mir Bashkhel, Suleman Talab and Tanda town.
Earlier, 37 bodies were retrieved from the dam till Monday night by the divers.
The district administration said on Tuesday that the operation would continue till the last remaining body was recovered.
Director General of Rescue 1122, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Khateer Ahmed was at the scene along with the deputy commissioner and the district police officer when bodies of 21 more children were recovered on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, caretaker of the Mir Bashkhel seminary, Shahid Noor, responding to a query as to why he allowed 59 children on a single boat, said that he did so because children’s weight was half the grown-up men.
The boat had capacity of carrying only 20 people.
Mr Noor’s brother, Shah Mehmood, who has the contract of fishing and boating at the dam, admitted that there were only four life jackets available at the time of the tragedy. He said fresh teams of divers arrived on Monday night and started rescue operation early on Tuesday, pulling out 21 more bodies. He said one was still missing.
Shahid Noor said he had lost one son, while his brother two sons to the tragedy.
Meanwhile, the condition of one of the five children rescued and admitted to the KDA Teaching Hospital is stated to be serious as doctors are trying to normalise his breathing.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023
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