Overloading: 18 passengers killed in AJK road crashes

Van plunges 300 feet below into Neelum River; wagon falls into ditch.

Our Correspondent June 10, 2012


At least 18 people were killed and 13 others injured in two separate road accidents between Friday night and Saturday evening in Mirpur district.

In the first accident, 12 people were killed and five injured after an overloaded Suzuki van skidded off the road and plunged 300 feet below into the Neelum River on late Friday night, police officials said. The fatal accident took place near Pathika village, around 11 kilometres from Muzaffarabad.

The ill-fated van with 17 passengers onboard was on its way from Muzaffarabad to Pathika town on Neelam Valley Road when the accident occurred.

Six bodies were recovered from Neelam River. They were identified as Imtiaz, Mazher Hussain, Farhad, Munir, Jamila Bibi and Shamiala. The bodies of six other passengers – identified as Moulvi Yasin, Mughees, Massarat Bibi, Faris Shah, Abdul Karim, Abdul Rehman, and van driver Nadeem Gillani – are still missing in the river while hectic efforts are under way to recover them. The wreckage of the van could not be dragged out of the river, police added.

Five of the injured, including Qari Rafiq Mir, Muhammad Urfan, Tasleem Ali, Muhammad Najamul Hassan and Waqas have been admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in Muzaffarabad.

In the second incident, six people were killed and eight injured after a passenger wagon’s tyre burst and it fell into a ditch near Dadayal town, police officials said. The incident took place near Sorokhi village.

Five of the passengers died on the scene, while the fifth died of injuries while being taken to the hospital. The injured were shifted to Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Dadayal and District Headquarters Hospital Mirpur, where the condition of four passengers is stated to be critical.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.


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