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    Tuesday, 24 April 2018

    Eight killed as jeep falls into ravine near Muzaffarabad

    At least eight people, including four women, were killed and two others were wounded when a passenger jeep carrying ten people plunged into a ravine near Dara Seri  Tuesday, police said.
    The jeep was on its way to Muzaffarabad  from a neighbouring village when it met the tragic accident near Dara Seri area, said Deputy Commissioner Hattian Bala Abdul Hameed Kiani.
     The ravine which the vehicle fell into flows through Khalana Valley and joins the River Jhelum after passing beneath Kaman Bridge at the Chokothi-Uri crossing point.Kiani said that the area where the accident occurred did not have cellular service coverage so the details of the accident reached administrative officials after a while.
    “I can confirm that eight people, including the driver, lost their lives in the tragic incident on the spot while another two people have been injured,” he said.There were reports that the death toll had risen to 10, but Kiani could not immediately confirm the reports.
    Residents of the area said dilapidated and poorly designed link roads in the hilly areas are one of the reasons behind frequent road accidents, in addition to faulty and outdated vehicles.
    “Link roads are being carved out in hilly areas without any proper engineering survey and design. Even a goods-laden donkey cannot steadily walk through these link roads, let alone vehicles which are mostly outdated,” said a visibly perturbed local who identified himself as Mohammad Aslam.
    According to residents, most of the vehicles running along different routes have either outlived their normal life span or have been locally altered to accommodate a maximum load beyond their actual loading capacity. Locals have also accused the authorities of turning a blind eye to this issue, despite hue and cry from members of civil society.
    “The accident should serve as an eye opener for the government to redetermine its priorities," said Mohammad Deen Mughal, another resident of the area.
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