25 children die as school van falls into river in Pakistan
At least 25 school children died when a coach going to school plunged into a river in Pakistan- controlled Kashmir on Tuesday, the school principal said.
Muhammad Farooq said that 30 to 35 children were coming to the school when the van fell into the Jhelum river at Garhi Dopatta, some 25 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan- controlled Kashmir, Xinhua reported.
Police officer in the region Ghulam Akbar said that four injured children were recovered by the rescue teams and the locals. They were shifted to hospital and doctors said they were in stable condition.
Akbar said four bodies have been recovered and rescue teams were deployed along the river to rescue those survived and to search for the bodies. He said that the coach driver has been taken into custody and is being questioned to determine the causes of the accident.
Witnesses told reporters that the accident occurred due to speed when the driver was taking a turn.
The rescue teams recovered the ill-fated coach but there was no child in the wreckage, police said.
The school principal said that the coach was in good condition and there may be possibility of technical fault, adding that the police are investigating the causes of the accident.
Mostly accidents in Pakistan occur due to high speed, ignorance and violation of traffic laws and poor road condition.
In August, at least 52 people were killed and a dozen others injured as a passenger bus fell into a river at Ghari Dupatta.
The 2005 earthquake had destroyed many road networks in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and some have not yet been rebuilt, locals said.
Troops were also called to help in rescue operation, a police officer at the scene said. Teams of divers are searching for the survivors and bodies.
A large number of relatives rushed to the accident site after they heard about the accident. Touching scenes were witnessed as some parents were remembering their children and were weeping.
Teachers said that the children were supposed to come for attending a school gathering.