Death toll from Pakistan’s boat tragedy rises to 51

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ISLAMABAD: The death toll from the boat accident in Pakistan’s Tanda Dam lake rose to 51, Dawn reported.

Pakistani newspaper reported that a total of 51 students were saved while 5 were brought out alive from the Tanda Dam lake in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The boat capsized on Sunday as a group of over 50 people from the Mir Bash Khel seminary, aged between eight to fourteen years, had gone for a picnic along with the seminary’s caretaker.

Military personnel, including army engineers and Special Service Group’s divers, along with rescue 1122 and civil administration, have been working day and night for the last 72 hours, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Pakistan Army’s rescue and relief operation was underway at the lake, reported Dawn.

Troops, along with Rescue 1122 and civil administration, rescued five students alive while army engineers and Special Services Group divers recovered 51 deceased students and teachers, the statement said.

The statement added that the five rescued students had been shifted to the Kohat District Hospital while the search for one missing individual was ongoing.

However, Rescue 1122 official Jawad Khalil put the death toll at 52, saying that four people had been rescued alive while one student remained missing.

On Monday, the seminary’s caretaker Shahid Noor — who survived the tragedy, but lost his two sons and four nephews, had registered a first information report (FIR) against the irrigation department officials for negligence, as per the report in Dawn.

On Sunday, Caretaker KP Chief Minister Azam Khan, in a statement issued, expressed grief over the incident, reported Dawn.

He directed the district administration and rescue organisations to start a rescue operation on an emergency basis. “All available resources should be utilized for the safe recovery of the persons who drowned in the incident,” he said.

Mass drownings are common in Pakistan when aged and overloaded vessels lose their stability and pitch passengers into the water.

In July, 19 women drowned when an overcrowded boat carrying a wedding party across the Indus river in Rahim Yar Khan capsized.

Rahim Yar Khan Deputy Commissioner Syed Musa Raza said as word on the incident was received, 30 rescuers, five ambulances, and a water rescue van arrived at the spot, as per the Dawn report.

“Nineteen bodies, all women, have been pulled from the water while a search operation is underway for the remaining passengers,” Khan added. (ANI)

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