Pakistan: 25 tourists are feared dead by collapsing the bridge in Neelum Valley

Islamabad: At least 25 local tourists, mostly students, are feared drowned when a bridge collapsed in the Neelum valley in Kashmir on Sunday. So far, five bodies have been recovered and eleven injured were rescued and taken to the local hospital in Muzaffarabad for medical treatment, according to local press reports.
“Although we still have to confirm an exact figure, it is believed that between 20 and 25 people stopped on the catwalk when it collapsed,” said Mirza Zahid Hussain, the police superintendent in Neelum Valley.
Tourists were swept by strong currents in the Jagran Nullah when the catwalk collapsed, police said.
The deputy commissioner of Neelum Valley, however, said that more than 40 tourists stopped to take pictures on the bridge, when it collapsed because he could not bear the weight. Some locals suggested on social media that “the pedestrian suspension bridge could not support the load of more than five people at a time.” The students enjoyed the view of the green water and took selfies when they suddenly collapsed. “Raja Mubasher, who witnessed the collapse of the catwalk, was quoted as saying.
Local residents said the victims were probably students from two faculties of medicine in Lahore and Faisalabad touring the picturesque valley.
Army personnel from Pakistan are helping with the operation, local media said, adding that the extremely cold water of the river and its strong currents are hampering efforts to recover tourists.
Kashmir’s Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, also came on the scene to personally supervise the rescue operation. He directed the district deputy commissioner to speed up the search.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed his sorrow and regret over the incident in Neelum Valley and has ordered the authorities involved to make a great effort in the rescue operation.
In expressing his grief at the loss of innocent lives, the Chief of Staff of the Army, Qamar Javed Bajwa, directed all possible assistance to the civil administration for relief and rescue operations, said an Inter-Services Public press release. Relations
A special team of SSG divers was sent for a search operation and army troops along with doctors and paramedics are taking part in the rescue efforts.
The Neelum Valley is a popular tourist spot, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the country, especially in summer.
On July 7 last year, a family of tourists from Rawalpindi also faced a similar tragedy when three of their young members were dragged by the same place.

Mangat Media

Rajbir Mangat

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