At least 2 dead and 8 injured in a landslide on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border
Sylvie Claire / April 19, 2023
At least two people were killed and eight injured just before dawn Tuesday in a landslide that buried dozens of trucks waiting to cross a border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, rescue officials said.
Nearly 120 trucks were preparing to cross the Torkham border crossing, the main crossing point for trade between the two countries, when the landslide occurred.
"We have recovered two bodies and taken eight injured to hospital," Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan's Rescue 1122 emergency service, told AFP.
Small braziers erupted after the disaster, as drivers and their assistants prepared meals on gas stoves before daybreak in the fasting month of Ramadan.
"The fire is now under control. The rescue operation is continuing, with the help of shovels and heavy machinery," Faizi added.
The cause of the landslide was not immediately known. A local administrative official, Ali Raza, noted that heavy machinery had been used for months for expansion work in the hills surrounding the border crossing.
Torrential rains overnight may also have contributed to the landslide, he said.
Authorities have temporarily closed the border crossing to road traffic, but it remains open to pedestrians, the same source said.