Karachi: At least 22 people, including women and children, were killed and several others injured on Wednesday as a van they were travelling in fell hundreds of feet into a ravine in Pakistan's mountainous Balochistan province, an official said.
The vehicle plunged into the ravine when the driver apparently failed to negotiate a sharp bend in the mountainous area of Akhtarzai near Killa Saifullah, which is at an elevation of 1,572 metres.
Deputy Commissioner of the Zhob district, Hafiz Muhammad Qasim, said that the passenger bus was travelling to Zhob town from Loralia.
"The vehicle fell from a hilltop near Akhtarzai. We have so far recovered 10 bodies as rescue operations are difficult due to the deep ravine in the mountains," he said.
An alert has been sounded at nearby hospitals and teams from Quetta were called in to aid the rescue operation.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed grief over the accident and urged authorities to ensure adequate medical treatment for the injured, calling on them to take steps to avoid such accidents in the future.
Every year, road accidents claim hundreds of lives in the country's restive Balochistan province due to the difficult and hilly terrain.