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22 April 2024

Landslide in Pakistan buries trucks, kills at least two people


A massive landslide struck a key highway in northwestern Pakistan near the border town of Torkham before dawn Tuesday, burying two dozen trucks and killing at least two people, officials said.

It was unclear how many people were missing and feared buried under the landslide.

Police official Ishrat Khan said dozens of firefighters and rescuers were trying to save truck drivers and other people hit by the landslide near the Afghan border. Officials said the landslide was triggered by lightning amid rain.

At least one truck caught fire when it was struck by lightning, rescuers said.

The injured were being transported to a nearby hospital, Khan added. Volunteers also joined the search for survivors as authorities dispatched heavy machinery to Torkham to try and remove the massive mudslide, Khan said.

Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for a state-run rescue service, said two bodies were pulled out and eight people were also injured.

“Rescuers are very careful because there is a possibility of another landslide but they are risking their lives to pull out those feared trapped,” he said.

Torkham border crossing is a key trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan and a location where landslides often block highways, especially in mountainous areas. It is also a major trade route between Pakistan and Central Asian states.

Last summer, devastating floods caused by monsoon rains killed 1,739 people in Pakistan.