At least ten people
die, three injured
as roof of house
collapses in Tatta Pani

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RAWLAKOT:  At least ten people have died as roof of a house collapsed in Tatta Pani, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) after heavy rains. According to details, 10 people including five children and two women died and 3 were injured when the roof of a house collapsed.

According to rescue officials, two families were living in the affected house, while some guests were also present at the time of the accident.

The bodies and four injured have been shifted to THQ Kotli for treatment and first aid by the rescue officials, while the identity of the deceased could not be ascertained as per initial reports.

According to rescue officials, the building was housing two families and was owned by employee of Tourism Department.

POONCH: A photo of the mud house that collapsed in a village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday night. (Dawn courtesy Tariq Naqash, Dawn)

Meanwhile, according to a Dawn report, Hajira Assistant Commissioner (AC) Waleed Anwar said the incident took place on Sunday night in Tahi Khakhriyali — the last village of Poonch district along the left bank of Poonch River.

Anwar said that non-stop rainfall over the past few days had rendered the roof of the house, particularly the area over the veranda, fragile and vulnerable. He added that two brothers and their respective families lived in the mud house.

As many as 14 people from both families, mostly children, were sleeping in the veranda where they were buried under mounds of earth when the roof caved in, he said.

Villagers gathered at the scene and recovered seven bodies and as many injured from the debris even though a sudden downpour hampered their efforts, the AC said.

He added that the survivors were rushed to a private hospital in Tatta Pani where three of them succumbed to their wounds.

Upper Kohistan: Officials present at the site of the collapsed bridge at the Karakoram Highway in Upper Kohistan. (Picture courtesy Umar Bacha)

Those who lost their lives were identified as 60-year-old Syedi Begum, 36-year-old Noreen Begum, 13-year-old Sehar, 11-year-old Nabia, 35-year-old Waqar Begum, 13-year-old Zoya, 11-year-old Adisha, eight-year-old Asnad, six-year-old Zammad, and five-year-old Mubashar.

Among the survivors were 20-year-old Zoneer Ahmed, 18-year-old Faryal, six-year-old Anisa and two-year-old Zohaan.

In a statement, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas expressed grief and sorrow over the lives lost and directed the officials concerned to facilitate the affected families in burying the dead and treating the injured.

Former Azad Kashmir prime minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi expressed grief over the death of ten people in Tatta Pani, he expressed his condolences to the bereaved and prayed for forgiveness for the deceased.

In his statement, he said that he is heartbroken to hear the news of the accident, I am an equal participant in the grief of the victim’s family in this hour of grief.

Floods destroy infrastructure in Kohistan

Meanwhile, flash floods triggered by torrential rain wreaked havoc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Kohistan district as a bridge at Karakoram Highway (KKH) collapsed, cutting off communication and impeding traffic headed towards Gilgit-Baltistan.

The incident also damaged the infrastructure of the Dasu Hydro Power Project at Uchar Nala, according to Upper Kohistan Assistant Commissioner Hafiz Waqar Ahmad.

Officials present at the site of the collapsed bridge at the Karakoram Highway in Upper Kohistan. — Umar Bacha

He told Dawn.com that the floods damaged the living quarters for the staff working on the Dasu project, adding that heavy machinery belonging to a Chinese company working at the site was also damaged.

“I personally visited the site and met the project staff and locals of the area as well as the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) [officials]. I discussed an alternative for the Uchar Nala bridge but heavy rubble carried by flood water, and the chance of more rain and floods may hinder work,” he said.

Ahmad added that the FWO would install an emergency steel bridge on the KKH but cautioned that work could not begin until the situation improved.

He said that he had requested the FWO to start clearing rubble as soon as it was possible, adding that the KKH would remain closed till the steel bridge was installed.