In the western region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have been working on hydropower projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative for several years.
An explosion in Pakistan drove a bus flying down a mountainside, killing at least 13 passengers, including nine Chinese nationals. What Beijing described as a bombing, Islamabad reported as a vehicle breakdown. According to local government and police officials, two Pakistani soldiers were among the dead when the explosion pushed the bus over a cliff.
The bus was transporting more than 30 passengers to a remote hydropower facility in upper Kohistan. Rescuers flew the injured, including Chinese engineers, to a hospital in Dasu. It was around 10 kilometers from the bomb site, using an air ambulance, according to officials.
Nine Chinese nationals died, according to the Chinese embassy in Pakistan. The Chinese foreign ministry expressed sympathies and called for a thorough investigation as well as the safety of its employees and projects, describing the incident as a bomb assault but providing no other details.
The Dasu hydropower project is part of the $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which comprises a network of roads, railways, and pipelines connecting the two nations.
According to Inspector General Moazzam Jah Ansari, the province’s senior police official. Suspected of foul play. “It appears to be sabotage,” he added.
The bus was bringing more than 30 Chinese engineers to the Dasu dam in Upper Kohistan. Top administrative officer in the Hazara region confirmed it. He did not want him revealed.
Local officials said they were unsure. That if a device had been put by the roadside or on the car itself. At least three additional authorities verified the bus was struck by a bomb, according to the news agency.
However, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry later stated that the bus had gone off the road “due to a technical breakdown leading in gas leakage, which resulted in a bomb.”
Road accidents are common in Pakistan. Drivers frequently ignore traffic regulations and safety standards and drive on damaged roads, especially in the north’s hilly terrain.
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