MUZAFFARABAD: Two young children were swept away by a raging water channel in Neelum Valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Friday after they fell from rickety wooden planks used as a makeshift bridge, an official confirmed.

Akhtar Ayoub, the disaster management officer in Neelum Valley, said the tragic incident occurred in Lawat Bala at around 1pm. The victims, identified as 10-year-old Azad and 8-year-old Faizan, both residents of Aur Syedan village, were returning home from a neighbouring village when the accident happened.

Rescue efforts to recover the boys had not been successful by evening, Mr Ayoub said.

Residents pointed out that in many areas of Neelum Valley, people were forced to cross dangerous water channels using wooden planks due to the lack of proper bridges.

They lamented that despite some deaths in the past from such crossings, the authorities had not taken action to address the issue.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2024

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