Death toll from Kohat boat tragedy rises to 51

Pakistan army relief operation underway since 72 hours; Five more students rescued alive, says ISPR

Our Correspondent January 31, 2023
People and rescue workers gather after a boat carrying religious school students capsized in Tanda lake in Kohat, Pakistan January 29, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS


The number of students who died after their boat capsized in Kohat’s Tanda Dam has increased to 51, the military's media wing said on Tuesday.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that relief operation of the Pakistan army was underway at the dam.

"Pakistan army troops along with Rescue 1122 and civil administration working constantly day and night since 72 hours rescued 5 students alive from Tanda Dam," it said.

ISPR said that the army engineers and divers of SSG recovered 51 deceased students and teachers from the dam.

"The five rescued students have been shifted to district Hospital Kohat. Search for one missing individual is ongoing," it further said.

Read Death toll from Kohat boat accident rises to 30

Caretaker provincial minister Khushdil Khan has ordered an inquiry and directed the Kohat administration to submit a report on the incident.

Meanwhile, caretaker K-P Chief Minister Azam Khan expressed his grief over the tragedy and instructed the commissioner and deputy commissioner of Kohat to personally supervise the rescue operation.

The incident took place on Sunday, when a boat carrying over passengers, including seminary students as well as the boatman, capsized in Tanda Dam.

Over 50 students of a seminary in village Mir Badshah Khel had reportedly come to the dam for a picnic. On the first trip, the boat successfully transported 15 students to the other side of the dam.

However, the overloaded boat capsized in the middle of the dam the second time.

Kohat Regional Police Officer Dar Ali Khattak, District Police Officer Abdul Rauf Babar Qaisarani, and army personnel reached the scene as soon as news of the tragedy reached them.

To assist the army divers, teams were summoned from Kohat and Peshawar.

Kohat Deputy Commissioner Mahmood Aslam said venturing into the dam was closed by the authorities for recreational trips.


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