Van accident in GB’s Ghizer district: one killed, 14 injured

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On Friday, a tragic incident occurred in Bathrat village, Gilgit-Baltistan’s Ghizer district, when a van veered off the road and plunged into a ravine, resulting in the death of one passenger and injuring 14 others. Rescue officials from Rescue 1122 confirmed the casualties, with three of the injured individuals in critical condition.

Among the critically injured, one was immediately taken to Gilgit Hospital, while the other two were referred to the Gupis Hospital for specialized care. Additionally, three more injured persons were transferred to the Ghizer district headquarters hospital, while the remaining victims were provided with first aid and allowed to return home.

The van was carrying a total of 15 passengers at the time of the accident, prompting rescue teams to swiftly respond to the scene. However, the rescue efforts were hindered by communication challenges arising from the lack of proper infrastructure in the area.

Sadly, this incident occurred less than a week after another tragic accident on the Karakoram Highway, where a bus carrying tourists plunged into a ravine in the Diamer district, resulting in six fatalities and 17 injuries. In yet another incident during the same week, a Gilgit-bound car fell into a deep ravine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lower Kohistan district, claiming four lives and leaving one critically injured.

The frequency of such accidents has raised concerns about road safety in Pakistan. Ramshackle highways, lack of adequate safety measures, and reckless driving practices have contributed to the country’s grim road safety record. Passenger buses are often overloaded and lack proper seatbelt usage, leading to high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents.

Addressing the situation, the Mansehra administration recently prohibited night travel between KP and GB via the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road, citing the need to protect travelers from the dangers of monsoon rains.

According to estimates from the World Health Organisation, Pakistan’s roads saw over 27,000 fatalities in 2018, highlighting the urgent need for improved road safety measures in the country.