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Van plunges into ravine, kills 16 in AJK

MIRPUR: Officials said that at least 16 people, including four women, were killed and seven other injured when an over loaded passenger van plunged into a deep ravine in a remote village of the mountainous Havaili Forward Kahota District in Poonch Division in the Azad Jammu Kashmir on Tuesday.
The accident happened in the area of Chattha Pal, 150 kilometres southeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of AJK.
“At least 16 people were killed and seven others were wounded, three of them critically when their van plunged into a 300-feet deep ravine,” local administration official Shamim Arif told AFP.
He said the van was overloaded with up to 30 people and speeding. The driver lost control while taking a sharp turn on the narrow and poorly maintained road in the mountainous region.
According to Rawalakot Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Sardar Muhammad Illyas, the dead included driver Muhammad Sagheer, Beenish Shabir, Khawaja Muhammad Manzoor, Sadia Manzoor, Salim Akhter, Shahid Akber, Muhammad Raees, Muhammad Farooq, Muhammad Shakeel, and Nazir Ahmed. Six bodies could not be identified. “The bodies and the injured were shifted to government hospitals in Hajeera and Abbaspur,” he said. Local police official Tariq Khan confirmed the accident and deaths. 

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