RAWALPINDI: The bodies of two young men who drowned in the Jhelum River near Bareti Phagwari, Murree, on Thursday could not be traced after four days, with Rescue 1122 seeking the help of the army divers on Sunday to fish out the dead bodies.

Two residents — Qasim Abbasi and Faisal Abbasi — who had arrived at the river to take selfies drowned on Thursday after which Rescue 1122 Control Room dispatched an ambulance from the nearest station along with additional support staff to the site. Responding to the emergency call, a water rescue team from Rawalpindi also responded but the search operation was called off as the darkness fell.

The following day, a search operation was conducted in an area of about 300 metres near the accident site. A boat and sonar radar search operation was also conducted in an area of about 1km near the accident site whereas rescue teams on foot conducted an operation in an area of 4km along the banks of the river. The operation was suspended due to darkness on Friday.

Search and rescue operation was started by Murree Rescue 1122 in the early morning of the third day at the request of the relatives, but after 12 hours of continuous search, the rescuers failed to locate the dead bodies in the river.

On Sunday, the search and rescue operation by Murree Rescue 1122 started in the morning, but this time, the Rescue 1122 also sought the help of the army divers who arrived on the scene to lend a helping hand. “Pak Army team has also participated in the search operation along with Rescue 1122,” said a statement on Sunday.

The community emergency response teams (CERTs) of Union Council Gahal and Phagwari are also participating in the operation and providing full support to the rescue effort.

Like the previous three days, rescue teams along with ambulances were deployed at Tain Dhalkot, Kotli Sattian and Azad Pattan Kahuta to monitor the floating objects in this area in a bid to find the dead bodies.

They are also searching along the river bank on foot, hoping to find clues. Rescue teams have completed a 10km line search operation on foot along the river so far. Similarly, rescue posts have been established at three different places for this search operation, which will resume today.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2024

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