Monday, 21 March 2016

Two bodies recovered, nine still missing after Chitral avalanche

Rescuers on Sunday found the bodies of two schoolchildren hit by an avalanche in the mountainous northwest, while nine more remain buried beneath the snow.

The disaster struck on Saturday afternoon near the village of Susom, some 40 kilometres north of the town of Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), local police station chief Sultan Baig said.

Worried parents and authorities began searching for the ninth graders when they did not return from school. “The chances of finding any survivors are very low,” said local deputy mayor Mohammad Ali. “But you never know, people have been found alive buried under snow for nearly 20 hours.”

Meanwhile, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson announced the demise of at least eight students while claiming to have recovered two bodies. The casualties include Rehmat Bai, Imran Uddin, Faiz Ali, Ali Shan, Imran Khan, Elahi, Irshad Murad and Mubashir.

“So far two bodies have been recovered and due to the terrain and topography heavy machinery could not make their way to the area people are using local available equipment to recover the bodies,” the PDMA spokesperson said.

Talking to APP, an official of Police Control Chitral Fazaluddin said that soon after the incident, the Pakistan Army troops and Scouts rushed to the site in Susoom village of Karimabad. He said that of two bodies recovered so far, one is of a student and the other of a passerby. The recovered bodies were identified as Mubashir S/O Nouroz, resident of Susoom and Rehmat S/O Adina, also from Susoom village in Karimabad.

The official said that the rescue operation was halted due to bad weather and heavy rain. Due to the fear of another avalanche, the operation was stopped, he said.

Heavy rains have killed at least 79 people, injured 101 others and damaged 240 houses since March 9 across the country, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. It said landslides and collapsed roofs caused most of the fatalities.

Monday 21 March 2015


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