DIR UPPER/SWAT/TANK: Six children drowned in two separate incidents in the Dir Upper and Swat districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on Wednesday.
Local residents told The Express Tribune that five schoolchildren went to school in the morning and when they were on their way back home in the afternoon, they drowned while trying to cross an over-flooded nullah in Barawal village.
“Three sisters and a brother and sister (children of two families) are among the dead. The bodies of the four kids were recovered while the fifth is missing,” said a local resident, adding that local residents mounted the rescue operation on a self-help basis.
This is not the first time that a schoolchild has been swept away by a strong water current in a nullah in Dir. A few months back a girl who was on her way to school fell into the freezing cold water of a nullah and died. She was ill but was still going to school to sit the exam.
“The parents fainted when they were told about their children. They sent them to school and received their dead bodies in the afternoon,” he said.
“Zubaida, 9, and Numan, 7, who are brother and sister. Wrisha Bibi, 7, Tajala Bibi, 6, and Hina, 5, are all sisters,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner Dir Upper Akmal Khan Khattak said that all the children are residents of Barawal village who were students of Government Primary School Dhal.
“These children tried to cross a flooded nullah and as a result lost their lives. Four bodies have been fished out and operation is underway to find the fifth,” he said, adding that he himself was supervising the operation.
Local residents said that there were no bridges on the mountainous nullahs in the Upper and Lower Dir and it was a permanent hazard.
The district received a heavy downpour following which all the streams and nullah were in high flood.
Swat also received heavy rainfall on Wednesday which resulted in the death of one girl who was swept away by the floodwater. Her body was later recovered.
Eight people have been injured in the floods.
Commissioner Malakand Division Shaukat Yousafzai said that rainwater entered Mingora city after record rainfall, forcing the authorities to close down all schools and put the staff on high alert to deal with any emergency.
“Many low-lying areas have been inundated causing problems for the local residents as well as tourists.
In Tank, district floodwater entered the government offices and residential areas. Dozens of villages were disconnected from the main city due to flash floods.
Local residents blamed the district administration was not taking part in rescue or dewatering operations.
Rainfall started in the district at around 6 am in the morning and continued till late at night. South Waziristan Road was closed for all kind of vehicular traffic.
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