SRINAGAR: The Pakistani army and the local civil society have resumed the rescue operation to locate the medical students whose bodies were taken by a torrent’s waves on Sunday. Six bodies were recovered and six are still missing, reports appearing in Pakistani media said.
The tragedy struck Sunday afternoon when 23 students from the medical colleges of Faisalabad and Multan lined up on the hanging bridge for a group photograph. The archaic hanging wooden bridge, according to reports, cannot withstand the weight beyond four persons and it started crumbling.
Reports said 11 students were rescued within an hour after the accident. Some of the students clung to the boulders till the locals managed some help and rescued them. Most of them were either flown to Muzaffarabad or were treated locally at Athmuqam. Among the dead included a couple who had wedded recently.
The accident took place on the dangling Jagran Nullah Bridge located close to Kundal Shahi town in Neelum Valley, on the other side of Gurez (Kupwara). Though the authorities had kept a warning for the people to avoid over-crowding the bridge, tourists usually avoid taking it seriously, reports in Pakistani media suggest. On July 7, 2017, a tourist family from Rawalpindi also devoured almost in the same fashion.
Jagran Nulla is a fast flowing torrent that is glacial fed and it eventually joins the Neelum (Kishanganga) rivulet. This river is the literal border between two parts of Kashmir between Gurez and Karnah. India and Pakistan have set up two major power stations on this river and the case went to arbitration to the United Nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to throw 330-MW Kishanganga power project open on May 19. Pakistani project, the 969- MW Neelum-Jhelum project hydropower project was already inaugurated by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Mid April.