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September 23, 2019

10 soldiers among 26 killed in Babusar bus crash

Top Story

September 23, 2019

MANSEHRA: As many as 26 people, including 10 army soldiers, were killed and 20 others sustained injuries when a Rawalpindi-bound passenger coach hit a mountainside near Gattidas area in the Kaghan valley near Babusar Top on Sunday.

“We have cleared the accident site as all 26 dead and 20 injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan,” Assistant Commissioner, Balakot, Nawab Sameer Hussain Laghari, told reporters.

The passenger coach carrying 46 passengers was on its way to Rawalpindi from Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan via the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road when it met an accident and hit a roadside mountain. The accident left 25 people dead on the spot while one more passenger succumbed to injuries at the Civil Hospital in Naran.

Twenty people, including women and children, sustained injuries in the accident. The local people and police from Kaghan and Chilas rushed to the scene and shifted the injured and dead to the Civil Hospital in Naran and also to Chilas where condition of four of the injured was stated to be critical.

The injured told the police the incident occurred because of over-speeding but they were not sure whether brakes of the coach had failed or the vehicle went out of control of the driver due to reckless driving.

"We are determining the cause of the accident," addedAssistant Commissioner Laghari, who had reached the spot. He said that eight injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital in Naran and 12 to Civil Hospital in Chilas. "We called six ambulances to transport the injured to these hospitals from Gattidas," the assistant commissioner said.

"An army helicopter landed at the site and airlifted the injured including four army soldiers to Gilgit-Baltistan," he said. He added that six children and four women were also shifted to hospitals. A press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that 10 soldiers were also among the dead and were airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Gilgit.

"The army troops undertook rescue and relief operation," said the press release, adding, "Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters evacuated the injured to the CMH Gilgit for treatment." Dr Ziaul Haq, the head of Civil Hospital in Naran, told reporters that four of the six injured brought to the hospital were army soldiers. The parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Sardar Mohammad Yousaf also visited the site of the accident.

President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other leaders expressed deep grief over the loss of several precious lives in a traffic accident took place in Babusar Pass area of Gilgit Baltistan. In their separate messages, they prayed for peace of the departed souls and early recovery of those injured.

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