KHANEWAL: Rescue teams on Sunday retrieved 11 bodies out of the 12 people of a family who went missing after a van carrying them fell into the Maisli link canal in Mian Channu of Khanewal district.
The country has witnessed several such incidents over the years owing to reckless driving, dangerous roads, landslides and bad weather. But the authorities have been working to decrease such accidents with improved infrastructure and awareness.
The deceased included women and children, according to rescue workers, who added that search for the remaining member is underway.
The van fell into the canal after hitting a motorbike coming from the opposite direction at a bridge, police said, adding that the incident happened on Friday night and the rescue work to retrieve the bodies started on Saturday.
The passenger van was on its way to Mian Channu from Sheikhupura.
The bodies were shifted to two nearby hospitals from where they were handed over to relatives after completion of legal formalities.
It took the rescue team long to recover the bodies as some of the bodies were swept away by the water current and found far away from the accident site, the rescue team said.
Divers from Rescue 1122 and volunteers are taking part in the relief effort, police added.
Earlier this year, 13 people had died and at least eight others were injured when a passenger van fell into a canal near Lahore. Residents had tried to rescue the drowning passengers on a self-help basis. They had also called Rescue 1122, whose
divers later fished out the dead and rescued some passengers.
In a separate incident in Karachi, two brothers among five children died after drowning in a deep water-filled pit in a plot in Surjani Town, on April 26.
The children had reportedly jumped into the pit while playing. Area residents called rescue teams immediately, but by the time they arrived, all five children had drowned. Their bodies were retrieved from the water by rescue workers in an operation that took half an hour; they were then shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
(With input from Xinhua)