ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — At least 21 people were killed and 12 others were injured in a tragic accident on the Karakoram Highway in Shatial area, Upper Kohistan district on Tuesday night. The accident occurred when a passenger bus collided with a car and plunged into a gorge.
“The accident took place within the jurisdiction of Kohistan but we are also taking part in the rescue effort due to our proximity to the site,” said Sher Khan, the SSP of Diamer District in Gilgit-Baltistan, adding 16 passengers travelling in the bus and five people travelling in the car lost their lives.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his grief over the lives lost in the accident. “I offer my condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the deceased,” he said. “I direct the authorities concerned to provide the injured with all available medical facilities.”
The Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid in Gilgit-Baltistan expressed his sorrow over the accident and directed the administration and all relevant departments to evacuate the injured and provide them with medical care.
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The rescue operation continued as officials worked to gather information on the number of passengers on the bus and in the car. “A search and rescue operation is currently under way,” said Sher Khan.
These kinds of accidents are all too common in Pakistan, where the World Health Organization estimated that over 27,000 people were killed on the country’s roads in 2018. Just last month, at least 41 people were killed after a passenger coach fell into a ravine in Balochistan.
The tragic accident on the Karakoram Highway serves as a reminder of the dangers on the roads and the importance of improving road safety to prevent loss of life.