MUZAFFARABAD: Three labourers were killed and a fourth one was injured when a steel slab of a bridge they were trying to install fell into the river near here on Tuesday, officials said.
The incident occurred near Dhani village, some 35 kilometres northeast of Muzaffarabad along the main Neelum valley road, when the technical task was being carried out by the non technical labourers due to contractor’s sheer disregard for the laid down standard operating procedure.
Ironically neither the contractor or any of his senior representatives nor any official of the highways department was present at the site.
The deceased were identified as Mumtaz, Abdul Shakoor and Mir Zaman, two of them serving and one retired coolie of the highways department.
The injured was identified as Asif Qureshi.
The incident sent a wave of anger among the local population who protested by placing the bodies of the deceased on the main road, blocking traffic for more than five years to the inconvenience of visitors travelling to and from Neelum valley.
The protest came to end after the local administration assured the demonstrators that action would be taken against the responsible persons. Officials said that a case was registered against the contractor and a departmental inquiry had also been ordered.
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2023