12 killed, including 9 Chinese in Pakistan bus 'blast'; China asks Pakistan to act swiftly

·2-min read
Visual of the bus involved in the accident in Pakistan (Photo Credit: The Express Tribune)
Visual of the bus involved in the accident in Pakistan (Photo Credit: The Express Tribune)

Kohistan [Pakistan] July 14 (ANI): Death toll in the Pakistan bus "bombing attack" rose to 12 with three more Chinese nationals being killed after the vehicle in which they were travelling inside the country's Khyber Pakhtunkhawa fell into a ravine following an explosion, Chinese media reported.

Preliminary reports stated that six Chinese and three Pakistanis- two Pakistani paramilitary personnel and a labourer- had lost their lives and several people injured after a blast in the vehicle carrying them to the Dasu Dam Hydropower Dam Project in the Upper Kohistan district, an area in Pakistan's rural northwest.

In a statement, Pakistan's foreign affairs ministry said the bus had fallen into the ravine "after a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas that caused a blast." It said an investigation was underway.

Chinese media outlet Global Times initially reported that "six Chinese nationals and three Pakistani nationals were killed in the bombing attack in Pakistan on Wednesday, the Chinese embassy has confirmed." It later updated to say that three more Chinese nationals succumbed to their injuries.

Addressing a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Chinese government urged Pakistan to take swift action as well as strengthen the security of Chinese institutions, projects and personnel in the country.

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan said, "The Chinese Embassy expresses its deep condolences to the victims and sympathy for the injured and will do its best with Pakistan to properly deal with the aftermath."

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad also has warned its nationals living in Pakistan to remain highly alert and avoid going out.

Part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and built under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, the Dasu Hydropower Project located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Kohistan is aimed at connecting western China to the Gwadar sea port in southern Pakistan. One of the companies involved in the project is China's Gezhouba Group.

Meanwhile, the regional commissioner of Upper Kohistan said that following the incident, the local administration quickly moved to rescue the injured people and rush them to hospital.

Deputy Commissioner Arif Khan Yousafzai also informed that the incident took place early in the morning around 7:30 am on a coaster carrying over 30 workers from the Barseen camp to the plant site.

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), confirmed that employees of a Chinese company were travelling in the bus, adding that rescue efforts were underway at the site of the incident and the injured were being shifted to a hospital. (ANI)

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