ISLAMABAD: This morning a bus carrying Chinese workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, plunged into a ravine after a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas that caused a blast. Further investigations are underway, said the foreign office in its statement.
According to preliminary reports, nine Chinese nationals and three Pakistanis lost their lives. Chinese workers and accompanying Pakistani staff were proceeding to their workplace for an ongoing project.
The local authorities are providing all possible assistance to the injured.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely in contact with the Chinese Embassy for coordination and facilitation.
The Government and people of Pakistan extend sincere condolences to the families of Chinese and Pakistani workers who lost their lives in the incident. We also pray for the quick recovery of the injured.
Pakistan and China are close friends and iron-brothers. Pakistan attaches great importance to the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in Pakistan.
Previously it was reported that at least ten people, including six Chinese engineers and two Frontier Corps personnel, lost their lives and several others were injured on Wednesday following a bus explosion.
The vehicle was carrying workmen to the Dasu Dam in the Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The cause of the explosion could not be ascertained and a rescue operation was underway. The site was cordoned off by police and Rangers,
“The bus plunged into a deep ravine after the blast and caused heavy losses. One Chinese engineer and one soldier are missing. The rescue operation is launched and the entire government machinery has been mobilised to rescue the injured by air ambulance,” a senior government official said.
He said six Chinese nationals, a paramilitary soldier and one local were killed. Several people were injured, he said.
A senior official said the bus was carrying over 30 Chinese engineers to the site of the Dasu Dam in Upper Kohistan.
The Dasu hydroelectric project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $65 billion investment plan under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative that is aimed at connecting western China to the Gwadar seaport in southern Pakistan. Chinese engineers along with Pakistani construction workers have been working on the Dasu hydroelectric project and several others for several years in the region where the blast took place.