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February 20, 2017

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Avalanche kills seven workers near Lowari Tunnel

Avalanche kills seven workers near Lowari Tunnel

CHITRAL: At least seven workers were killed and seven others sustained injuries when an avalanche hit a workshop of the Korean company, Sambu, near the north portal of the Lowari Tunnel on Sunday, official sources said.

Officials said the technicians had started their daily work of repairing the machinery being used in the construction of the tunnel when the avalanche hit the workshop. Rescue activities were launched promptly and seven bodies and the same number of injured were retrieved from the rubble.

The dead were identified as Rahmat Zada, Jalal, Rahmat Ghazi, Haji Iftikhar, Kamran, Asif and Nadeem. The injured included Altaf Hussain, Zamurud Hussain, Qaiser Hussain, Shakil, Gul Alam, Bahadur Shah and Mujeeb. Two of the injured were in critical condition and were shifted to Peshawar for treatment.

Rescue activities continued despite the risk of more avalanches amidst heavy rain and snowfall. Chitral District Nazim Maghfirat Shah expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives and said the administration should have taken steps for avoiding such disasters. He asked the government to announce compensation for the victims of the incident as they were doing a tough job and working in difficult terrain.

Meanwhile, one person was killed and two others sustained injuries when an avalanche hit the remote Rech valley of upper Chitral on Saturday morning. Nine people were killed and 20 houses were destroyed when an avalanche struck a village in Lotkoh valley a few days back.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) through a statement said a number of separate incidents of avalanches and landslides were recorded during the last 24 hours in different parts of Chitral. "The landslide hit the north portal of Lowari Tunnel trapping 14 personnel of Sambu Company. The specialised search and rescue teams consisting of Pakistan Army, Chitral Scouts, Police and local administration were deputed to carry out joint search and rescue operation, rescuing seven of the 14 alive while others (three from Drosh and four from Punjab) unfortunately lost their lives," the PDMA statement added.

 

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