Seven dead, 94 hurt as gusty winds lash twin cities

Damage to life, property caused by flying debris amid powerful gusts

Damage to life, property caused by flying debris amid powerful gusts. PHOTO: EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: At least seven people were killed and over 90 injured on Wednesday after a powerful windstorm and rain wreaked havoc in the twin cities.

Three members of a family were killed in Dhoke Hassu, Rawalpindi when a wall of their house collapsed. The bodies of Sultana Arshad and her children, Kanwal, 20, and Majid, 18, were shifted to Holy Family Hospital.

At least five killed as storm wreaks havoc in KP, Islamabad

Another body was brought to Polyclinic in Islamabad. The unidentified person was killed after a tree fell on him.

A broken utility pole in Aabpara. PHOTOS: MUDASSAR RAJA/EMRAN ABBAS/EXPRESS

A collapsed roof in Margalla Town left at least two minor girls dead. Their identities were not released when this report was sent to the press. At least 94 injured people were brought to different hospitals in the twin cities ---22 at Pims, 44 at Polyclinic, and 28 at Holy Family Hospital.

“A body and 44 injured were brought to Polyclinic, 15 to 20 of whom were in critical condition, with fractures and head injuries,” Dr Sartaj Ali told The Express Tribune. 

A man walks past a huge signboard which fell on Rawalpindi's Mall Road during heavy storm on Wednesday night. PHOTO: ONLINE

“At least 22 people with minor injuries were brought to the Pims, which were released from the hospital after treatment,” Pims Spokesperson Dr Ayesha Ishani said.


Amid the windstorm, a fire broke out in the Sabzi Mandi area of I-11 after a utility pole fell on the vegetable stalls. There were reports that the fire had spread to a hypermarket in the area, but no loss of life was reported in the incident.

Windstorm kills 15 in twin cities, K-P

Footage on social media showed that a section of the roof at Centaurus Mall had collapsed, flooding part of the floor area with water and broken glass.


Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Mushtaq Ahmed said that wooden pushcarts in the market caught fire. He added that the fire had been doused and most of the shops were saved.


Oddly, and in contrast with hospital officials, the capital’s deputy commissioner claimed that no casualties were reported in the limits of the Islamabad Capital Territory.


Trees were uprooted while utility poles and billboards collapsed under the strength of the winds, which were over 100km per hour.

Several major roads in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were blocked by debris. Cars and other vehicles were severely damaged after trees and boards fell on them.


The Metro Bus service was immediately suspended after glass panels at numerous bus stations were broken by flying debris.

All flights at Benazir Bhutto International Airport were suspended following the storm. Incoming flights were either diverted to Lahore or delayed.


In Aabpara area, speakers which had been illegally installed on utility poles caused one to collapse on top of a moving motorcyclist and dislodged at least three other poles. Flying billboards injured at least one person, while another man who appeared to be injured was barred from speaking with The Express Tribune by shopkeepers who had earlier refused to admit who installed the illegal speakers which caused the collapse. According to WAPDA officials, power supply was cut off in a number of areas in Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment area following the storm.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2016.


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