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School van falls into river in NW Pakistan, 25 children dead

09-21-2010 13:46 BJT

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- At least 25 children were feared dead as a school bus plunged into the Jhelum river with over 30 kids onboard Tuesday morning in Muzaffarabad area of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, local sources said.

So far at least five bodies have been recovered from different places in the river. Eyewitnesses said that parents helplessly watched their children being drowned. The children were from a school operated by a non-governmental organization.

Local television DAWN reported from the accident site Ghari Duppatta near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir that locals are trying to catch hold of the bus with ropes which has completely been submerged into the river.

Accidents are common in the hilly areas, as generally worn-out vehicles drive carelessly in narrow curvy roads along the deep ravines and rivers.

In August, at least 52 people were killed and a dozen others injured as a passenger bus fell into a river at Ghari Duppatta, 25 kilometer from Muzaffarabad.

In May, 12 people were killed as a speeding van fell into river in Upper Dir of northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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