CHAKWAL: At least 24 passengers died and 67 were injured when their bus fell into a ravine near Dhoke Pathan village on Pindigheb-Talagang Road on Wednesday night.
The accident occurred at about at 9pm. Rescue 1122 ambulances parked at Talagang hospitals were the first to arrive at the scene of the tragedy, followed by an operation team from Chakwal that reached there about 40 minutes later.
District Police Officer Muhammad Haroon Joiya and Deputy Commissioner Omar Jahangir also rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operation.
“The bus was on its way to Raiwind from Kohat and the passengers were going to Raiwind to attend the annual religious congregation,” Muhammad Afzal, the Station House Officer of Saddar Police Station, told Dawn.
Confirming that 24 people had been killed, he said that all the passengers belonged to Kohat area.
According to Rescue 1122 spokesperson Khurram Manzoor, 13 of the injured were rushed to Rawalpindi because of their serious condition.
Scores of other injured were shifted to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Talagang, City Hospital Talagang and District Headquarters Hospital Chakwal, he added.
SHO Afzal said that originally the bus was to go to Raiwind via Islamabad-Lahore Motorway but it opted for another route. “The motorway is closed after 10pm due to smog and overloaded buses are fined on the motorway. That’s why the driver opted to go through GT Road,” he added.
“The driver was unfamiliar with this area and he was running the bus at high speed. The bus fell into the ravine while it was passing through a slope,” he said.
The rescue operation continued till late into the night.