A passenger bus carrying about 24 passengers fall into a river in Kohistan district of Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing all the people on board, a senior police officer told Xinhua on Saturday.
The drowned people, including 15 men, five women and four kids, were close-knit relatives who were on their way back home after attending some family functions, District Police Officer of Kohistan Raja Abdul Saboor said.
The accident happened on Friday night in a remote area of the district, but police and rescue teams got to know about it after several hours due to unavailability of communication facilities in the area.
The bus was on its way to a remote area Dara Bangroo from district headquarters of Dassu when it fell into the river in Kundian area while crossing a wooden bridge which could not bear its weight and collapsed into the gushing water, Xinhua reported.
"When police and rescue teams reached the accident site, it was already dark, and the search operation was a challenge as the remote area does not have lights or other facilities, so the rescue process was delayed till the morning," Saboor said.
Delayed rescue work and hindrance in the search operation caused by the darkness of night aggravated the depth of the tragedy due to which all people onboard were killed, he observed.
Ten bodies have been recovered while the search for the others is underway, and the rescue operation is likely to be concluded by the afternoon, as local volunteers are also joining the rescue teams to speed up the operation, Saboor said.
The police officer said some of wooden bridges in the district are in a dilapidated condition, and recent rains have made their condition even worse, making them risky for the locals who have no choice but to use them for crossing the river.