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Tuesday November 30, 2021

Nine drown as vehicle falls into river in Upper Chitral

May 31, 2021

CHITRAL: Nine persons drowned when a vehicle plunged into the river in Unavich village in Upper Chitral early Sunday, police and locals said.

They said that 11 people were travelling to different villages of Yarkhun valley from Chitral town when the land cruiser fell off a bridge at about 2am. Two persons, Haji Ali of Lon village and Muhammad Irshad of Pakpattan in Punjab, managed to survive. Those drowned were identified as Mughal Khan, ex-member district council Israr Ahmad, his sister-in-law, Didaruddin, his wife, Umaid Nabi, Ejaz Ali, Sultan, and Iftajuddin.

“The bridge is not on the main Chitral-Broghil road but links the village of Unavich with it. The taxi land cruiser’s destination was not Unavich village. It was going there to drop goods for a shop and used the bridge as a shortcut though it is not safe for loaded vehicles,” said one of the survivors.

When the loaded land cruiser was crossing the bridge, he said, it started swinging and the vehicle lost balance.

There is no rescue service in the whole district of Upper Chitral and it took almost 8 hours for a Rescue 1122 team from Lower Chitral to reach the spot, which managed to recover five bodies.

The area people said despite repeated fatal accidents mostly due to dilapidated roads, the government had failed to set up an emergency service in the remote district of Upper Chitral.

Assistant Commissioner, Mastuj, Shah Adnan said the accident occurred due to overloading. “We have been warning the taxi drivers plying the road against overloading for a long time,” he added.