Funeral prayers for eight members of a family killed in a deadly crash at the Babusar Top on Friday were held at Jamia Masjid Shuhda Fareed Town in Sahiwal today (Saturday).
All the deceased and injured people belonged to a single family. The deceased, which include two brothers, one wife, three sons, and one daughter, would be laid to rest in their native village.
Two women were among eight killed on Friday when a passenger bus plunged into a ravine after colliding with a car near Babusar Top in the Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan, rescue officials and an official said. At least 12 were reported to be injured.
Chilas Assistant Commissioner Sadaqat Sada confirmed to Aaj News the cause of the incident. But the Balakot DSP claimed the car fell into a ravine after a stone placed to stop the car from moving at the ramp was removed.
At least four out of the 12 injured were said to be in critical condition.
The track to the area is dangerous and drivers often could not control speeding, Aaj News correspondent said and added that often such accidents occurred due to overspeeding.
The incident was reported at Ghatidas near the famous tourist attraction, according to rescue officials. They added that the vehicle that met with an accident was a hi-roof vehicle.
Balakot DSP Saeed Jadoon told Aaj News that bodies were shifted to the basic health unit near the Naran Police check post while wounded persons were moved to Chilas hospital.
But he feared more deaths. Rescue officials, Mansehra police, and Chilas police were on the site for relief activities.
Footage showed that the van caught fire after falling into the ravine. The deceased people were coming to Naran from the Babusar Top and they belong to the same family. They were from Punjab’s Sahiwal, as per initial information.
The local administration told Aaj News that it would take seven hours to shift the bodies to Mansehra Civil Hospital from where they would be handed over to their families in Sahiwal.
The travelling time from Ghatidas to Naran is two hours and it takes three hours to arrive in Balakot and further one hour to reach Mansehra.
The famous Babusar Pass, which connects Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was opened for traffic last month. It merits here to mention that the highway connecting Diamer and Mansehra via Naran remains closed for traffic from every October to June.
Earlier this year, a similar accident in the Shitial area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Kohistan district killed at least 21 people and wounded 12.
The accident occurred when a bus travelling from Ghizer to Rawalpindi collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.
Family had left for northern areas a week ago
The grieved family of three brothers had left for northern areas a week ago, Murad, a close family friend of Zafar Joiya told Aaj News on Friday. Families of two brothers were visiting the northern areas.
They live in the Fareed Town of Sahiwal. Murad was told about the accident on Friday afternoon that the bus in which Joiya’s family was travelling fell into a ravine.
Zafar Joiya rushed to the site of an accident when he heard about the tragic accident.
“So far, we have received reports that his [Zafar’s] two brothers and eight of his family members have died, a few are missing, and some are in critical condition,” Murad said.
Three children are also among the deceased, according to the information given to them.
According to a preliminary report shared by district authorities, Pamir Times reported that the accident occurred because of the high-altitude road – Babusar is around 16,100 ft above sea level - was covered with clouds and visibility was very low. The car and the van collided, and the van fell down a hill and caught fire, video clips and photographs of the accident site indicate.
July has proven to be a deadly month for road accidents in GB as so far over 40 people have lost their lives in various accidents and over 60 have sustained injuries.