CHITRAL: Nine people, including seven schoolchildren, were buried under an avalanche in the Karimabad valley of Chitral.
The bodies retrieved so far from the avalanche were identified as that of student Mubashir Ali, son of Nowroz, and Rehmat Bai, a passerby from Paran village.
The other victims were: Imran Uddin, son of Azmat Ali, Imran, son of Afzal; Alishaan, Muhammad Elahi, Faiz Ali class 10th and Irshad Ahmed, residents of Karimabad.
Member of the District Council from Karimabad, Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, told ChitralToday that Karimabad had received over two feet of snow and the roads and tracks in the valley had become dangerous due to the melting snow and falling boulders and avalanches.
He said the students belonged to Paran, Shah Herth and Karimabad etc., and had gone to the Govt High School Susum to appear in the SSC Part 1 and Part 2 exams on Saturday.
According to the school staff, the students had left for their homes after appearing in the exam but did not reach home. In the evening, relatives and other people of the area started a hectic search for the students but so far there was no clue to them, he added.
On Sunday morning, the local people dug an avalanche and retrieved the body of one of the students. They feared that all the students have been buried under the same avalanche. Later, another body was also recovered.
A Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson said at least eight students died in teh avalanche, adding to have recovered two bodies. The deceased included Rehmat Bai, Imran Uddin, Faiz Ali, Ali Shan, Imran Khan, Elahi, Irshad Murad and Mubashir.
“So far two bodies have been recovered and due to the terrain and topography heavy machinery could not make their way to the area. People are using local available equipment to recover the bodies,” the PDMA spokesperson said.
The locals appealed to the district administration and the law enforcement agencies to launch a search operation in the area.–Reporting by Bashir Hussain Azad