RAWALPINDI, (SANA): At least 25 persons including 23 Pakistan army personnel were killed and five others were injured when a Gilgit bound passenger coach plunged into the Indus River in Kohistan on Saturday.
All soldiers killed in an accident were from the Northern Light Infantry Battalion (NLIB).The incident was happened at Summer Nullah when the driver of coach while negotiating a sharp turn in speed could not hold control over the vehicle as a result of which it fell into deep ravine.
All injured and dead bodies were shifted to RHC Dasu, DPO Kohistan Akbar Ali said. Police has requested the Pakistan army to send a helicopter for relief operation.
Emergency declared in hospitals in Kohistan and Chilas after the incident. Local police and people voluntarily started relief operation.
The incident happened at Summer Nula when the speeding driver of the coach negotiated a sharp turn and lost control of the vehicle which then fell into a deep ravine.
“All those 25 who were killed were Pakistan army personnel and we have started the rescue operation and called the army to airlift the injured and bodies to Rawalpindi,” Kohistan’s District Coordination Officer, Aqal Badshah, said.
The bodies were initially shifted to the Shitial Civil Hospital, Badshah said, adding that he had contacted the Frontier Works Organisation in Kohistan for arrangements that may be needed to shift the bodies.
Badshah said he was in contact with the police for a prompt rescue operation in the area.
Meanwhile Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said 23 army personnel and two civilians were killed in the accident.
According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Northern Light Infantry Battalion troops were heading towards Gilgit-Baltistan from Swat when their bus plunged into ravine on Karakorum Highway in Kohistan district.
Two civilians and 27 security personnel were travelling in the ill-fated bus, ISPR reported.
The ill-fated coaster was traveling to Gilgit from Rawalpindi before it met the fatal accident in Dasu town of Kohistan on Shara-e-Karakoram. According to reports, 29 troops were aboard the coaster.
The military said 27 people were on board the bus including 25 soldiers heading home on leave and a civilian driver and cleaner.
Speaking to a private TV channel DPO Kohistan Akbar Ali Gohar confirmed the death toll, saying that victims were shifted to a local hospital. DPO said that the bodies have been shifted to Rural Health Center Shatyal, while for shifting the five injured to Rawalpindi a helicopter has been called for. Police say that Colonel Ikram was also among the dead.