Muzaffarabad [PoK], July 3 (ANI): At least six members of a family died on Saturday and two children were injured after their vehicle plunged into the Neelum River in Muzaffarabad city in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), officials said.
Dawn reported that the group of eight -- all of whom belonged to Narowal -- was heading towards the upper belt of the picturesque valley.
However, shortly ahead of Jura Bandi village, some 65 kilometres northeast of Muzaffarabad, they met with an accident, said Akhtar Ayub, the district disaster management officer.
Ayub said that the area where the vehicle fell into the river was not in a bad enough condition to have caused such an accident. He quoted an eyewitness as saying that one of the tyres had burst which led to the driver losing control of the vehicle, causing it to fall into the river.
The official said that the two children were ejected from the car as soon it veered off course.
Ayub said the locals immediately rushed the injured children to a nearby military-run health facility in critical condition. However, the others couldn't survive because of their injuries and the icy water, he added.
The publication further reported that rescuers pulled the vehicle from the river and discovered four bodies. They were identified as Nadir Kamran, his brother Azam Rizwan, wife Madiha Noor and mother Parveen Akhtar.
Rizwan's wife Ayesha and Kamran's three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Anaya were still missing and, according to local officials, they were presumed dead.
The bodies and injured children were later shifted to Combined Military Hospital Muzaffarabad in the evening.
Dawn reported quoting Kamran's brother-in-law Azeem Sabir that Kamran had a private job in Gawalmandi, Lahore while his family lived in Narowal. He confirmed that there were five adults and three children in the vehicle.
Expressing grief over the incident, POK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider urged tourists to make sure their vehicles were in top condition before embarking on a trip.
"In the wake of today's tragic accident in Neelum, I again urge all tourists not to leave for a trip before getting your vehicles fully examined. And when you are at the wheel in hilly areas, please focus on the track rather than the environment because your lives are far precious than everything else," he said. (ANI)