Kashmir: At least 8 killed as van carrying tourists plunges into ravine in GB’s Diamer

Jammu & Kashmir POK - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

At least eight people, including a child, were killed and nine others were injured on Friday when a van carrying tourists plunged into a ravine near Babusar Pass in the Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, officials said.

Diamer Rescue 1122 District Coordinator Shaukat Riaz, while confirming the death toll to Dawn.com, said the accident took place after the vehicle collided with a car.

Meanwhile, Chilas Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Wazir Liaqat said the van, carrying 16 tourists, was headed to Gilgit from Sahiwal.

“After it fell into the ravine, the van caught fire,” he told Dawn.com, adding that the wounded persons were being moved to the Chilas Regional Headquarters Hospital.

The DSP said one body had been brought to the health facility in Chilas while the remaining were referred to Naran. He further stated that the deaths occurred due to severe injuries.

Liaqat added the wounded included four women, four children and a man.

Earlier this month, six people were killed and 17 others were injured when a bus carrying tourists plunged into a ravine on the Karakoram Highway near the Thalichi area in GB.

Previously, five tourists were killed and 13 were injured in two traffic accidents in GB’s Hunza — when a van fell into a ravine and another crashed into a mountain.

Ramshackle highways, lax safety measures and reckless driving contribute to Pakistan’s dire road safety record.

Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn or simply non-existent, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.__Courtesy Dawn.com