Last Updated: January 29, 2023, 2:24 PM IST
Rescuers help a man to get in a boat as part of a mock flood exercise in the Kabul river on the outskirts of Peshawar on June 6, 2020. (AFP)
Forty-one people were confirmed dead after their bus crashed into a ravine in Pakistan’s Balochistan
At least 51 people were killed in two separate transport accidents in western Pakistan on Sunday, when a bus plunged off a bridge and a boat carrying a class of children capsized.
Forty-one are so far confirmed dead after their bus crashed into a ravine in southwestern Balochistan province, while at least 10 students died in the boating accident in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials said.
In the second incident, ten children died when their boat capsized on Sunday in northwest Pakistan, a local police official said.
All of the dead so far recovered from Tanda Dam lake, near Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, were between seven and 14-years-old, according to local police official Mir Rauf.
Rauf said 11 children had been rescued from the water, with six in critical condition. The boat was carrying between 25 and 30 students on a daytrip from a local madrassa when it overturned.
“A rescue operation is underway,” Rauf told AFP.
Mass drownings are common in Pakistan, when aged and overloaded vessels lose their stability and pitch passengers into the water.
Many in the country do not know how to swim, particularly women who are discouraged from learning owing to conservative social mores. Their all-covering clothes also weigh them down once they become sodden.
In July, 18 women drowned when an overcrowded boat carrying a wedding party across the Indus river in Punjab province capsized.
In the first accident, forty-one people were confirmed dead after their bus crashed into a ravine in southwestern Balochistan province.
At the remote site of the bus crash, north of the city of Bela in Lasbela district, senior administration official Hamza Anjum said “the dead bodies…are beyond recognition”.
Anjum said 40 corpses were retrieved from the wreck alongside three injured, one of which died shortly after. The remaining two survivors were in “serious” condition.
Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single vehicle accidents are common.
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