ISLAMABAD – A landslide in northern Pakistan on Sunday buried a minibus under tons of mud and rock, killing all 16 people on board, police said.
Rescue workers dug for hours in hopes of finding the survivors, but halted the search late Sunday after finding 16 bodies, including the driver and four soldiers traveling to their posts, local police officer Wakil Khan said.
The bus was pushed into a deep ditch and buried along a mountain road as it traveled to the scenic town of Skardu in the Gilgit Baltistan region from Rawalpindi town in Punjab province, he said.
Local administrator Miraj Alam said the bodies were being transferred to the district hospital and that the Jaglot-Skardu road in the Tangos area where the landslide occurred was being cleared.
Road accidents are common in Pakistan, mainly due to insufficient enforcement of safety standards and poor infrastructure, especially on affected mountain roads. In March, a passenger bus crashed off a winding mountain road and into a ravine in northern Pakistan, killing at least 19 people and injuring several others.
Landslides after heavy monsoon rain are also common in the country and cause widespread damage in mountainous areas.
Skardu is located in a mountain range complex that includes the Himalayas, and the city is the gateway to K2, the world’s highest peak after Mt. Everest. A large number of domestic and foreign tourists visit the peak every year. Skardu is about 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
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