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10 killed, over 39 injured in Blast: 6 Chinese engineers killed near Dasu hydropower plant

Among those who lost their lives are 2 FC personnel, 4 foreigners.
Vehicle was transporting personnel working on the Dasu dam, say reports.
Bodies and the injured have been shifted to Rural Health Centre (RHC) Dasu.

UPPER KOHISTAN: Ten people were killed and over 39 injured Wednesday when a vehicle blew up in a blast near a labour camp.

At least 10 persons, including six Chinese engineers and two Frontier Corps personnel, died and several others were injured on Wednesday near the Dasu hydropower plant in the Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkwha.

Initial reports from officials appeared conflicting and the nature of the incident is not clear.

Soon after the incident, Upper Kohistan Deputy Commissioner Arif Khan Yousafzai told TTI News that it took place early in the morning around 7:30am when a coaster was carrying over 30 workers, including Chinese engineers, from the Barseen camp to the plant site.

He said other than engineers, Frontier Corps personnel and local labourers were also aboard the bus when an explosion – the cause of which has yet to be ascertained – took place.

The vehicle was transporting staff that has been working on building the Dasu Dam, as per reports, adding that two FC personnel and four foreigners also lost their lives in the incident.

Bodies and the injured have been shifted to the Rural Health Centre Dasu. Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Arif said an investigation is being conducted to ascertain the intensity of the blast and know more about it. 

Dasu or Dassu is the district headquarters of Upper Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It had 15 Union Councils before the separation of the Kandia valley. Since its being named as Tehsil, the Dasu subdivision has 11 Union Councils.

The Dasu Hydropower Project (DHP) is a major investment project proposed by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) to modernize and expand the energy sector of the country, while shifting from thermal generated electricity to clean, low cost and high reward generation of hydro-power. The project is situated in remote mountainous terrain in the Upper Indus valley in the district of Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in the north of Pakistan.

The DHP is located on the Indus River at a s ite about 7 km upstream of Dasu Bridge near the small town of Dasu, the capital of Kohistan District in KP province. At this site the Indus River f low s in a deep and narrow valley (about 750-800 meters above sea level, masl) of the low er Himalayas, which have an average altitude of 2,000 to 4, 000 m.

The project area is accessible through the KKH, which is the only road between Islamabad (350 km aw ay) and the north of Pakistan and China (Kashgar). About 74 km further upstream along the Indus another structure under the “Vision 2025” program is planned: the Diamer-Basha (DB) Dam.

Ahmed Mukhtar Naqshbandi

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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