Balcony Collapse: Death toll in Chitral hotel mishap increases to 5, 11 injured

With reporting by Gul Hammad Farooqi

CHITRAL: Five people, including women and children, have died as a result of a tragic accident at a hotel in Chitral city.

A family of about 16 people had reached the scenic Chitral district for vacationing. The tourists were staying at the TirichMir Hotel, located in the center of Chitral city, near the famous Shahi Mosque and Fort. The Tirich Mir hotel, named after the Tirich Mir peak (7,708 m), is owned by a member of the former ruling family of Chitral.

On Thursday morning, at around 11am, the family members went to the balconey of a room located on the fourth floor of the hotel to take photographs; the hotel’s rooms offer beautiful views of the nearby mountains, including Tirich Mir, which is considered the highest peak in the Hindukush mountain range.

A video-grab vview of the collapsed balcony after the mishap.

While the family members were taking group photographs, the balcony suddenly collapsed.  All the people on the balcony fell down, with some getting serious injuries as their heads hit the concrete floor. The the injured were immediately rushed to the DHQ Hospital. Four people died in the hospital. A child breathed her last while the injured were being shifted to a helipad for aerial evacuation.

The deceased have been identified as Ejaz (Husband), Rashida (Wife), Fakhra, Rutba and Imran. All the deceased were resident of Punjab’s Qusoor district. 11 people are injured as a result of the tragic accident.

Soldiers of Pakistan Army and Chitral Scouts, officials of Rescue 1122 as well as workers of various civil departments, NGOs and community organizations participated in the rescue operations. Choppers were engaged by the Pakistan Army to evacuate the injured to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. However, the sorties could not take place due to inclement weather over the Lawari mountains.

The incident has raised a question mark over the quality of construction in the mountain district, where earthquakes are also frequent.

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