At least 24 people have been killed in north-west Pakistan in an avalanche while digging for gemstones, officials said on Friday. The deaths are said to have occurred on Thursday in a remote area of Kohistan, where snow has fallen in recent weeks. Kohistan is located some 350km (210 miles) north-east of Peshawar and is close to the region that was hit by a devastating earthquake in October.
Reports say rescue teams were able to save one person. "We have found some bodies but most are still to be recovered," a regional police chief, Ataullah Wazir, told the Associated Press. He said they learned of the incident late because of the remoteness of the area. Another police official said a helicopter was being sent to the area to retrieve bodies.
The area is rich with precious stones which local villagers sell on the open market. More than 73,000 people were killed in the October earthquake which left at least three million people homeless, according to officials in Pakistan. One official said it was possible a tremor had triggered the avalanche. The area stretching across Pakistan into India and Afghanistan sees a lot of seismic activity, as it is where the tectonic plates of Asia and the Indian subcontinent collide.
Source: BBCLast Mod: 00 0000, 00:00