A Live account of a heart wrenching accident in Shershah, Multan, 17 people of a single family drowned on their way to Wedding ceremony as the rescue boat capsized. Team PKKH physically participated in the rescue operation.
In pursuit of our first relief and flood survey mission, Team PKKH under the banner of MERE LOG’s Initiative phase 6 set off for Flood hit Southern Punjab. After a tiring road trip in a packed car, we reached Multan, early as 8:00 AM on Sunday. We were told by the local team about the submerged area near Shershah bridge some 20 km from Multan. As we reached there in the afternoon, we were met with one of the most depressing and devastating accident in the whole aftermath of 2014 floods caused by flash rains this summer.
The single most loss of lives was witnessed in front of our eyes as Army and local Islamic NGO Falah-e-Insaniyat (FIF) rescue boats rushed to rescue survivors that were hanging on to lives as the boat that was transporting them capsized due to imbalance. Team PKKH volunteered in the rescue mission and we were the first team to recover the first of seventeen dead bodies of this unfortunate family along with the Pakistan Navy, Army.
According to the details, ‘Athra Hazari’ dyke was blown up along few other dykes in order to protect Multan from the flood waters. Millions in the city were successfully protected by tiresome efforts of Pak Army however water managed its way in to outskirts areas of Head Mohammad, Shershah and Kabir wala. The bridal procession of Mohammad Zahid of Muzaffargarh town near Multan was returning from Sankiwala, Muzaffargarh from his wedding along his bride and two dozen family members in post wedding ceremony.
The family had to board boats because the road link between Multan and Muzaffargarh had been severed by flood water According to the information we gathered, 30 people boarded a fibre boat which when reached middle of the swollen river few people tried to move in the boat which caused imbalance and the boat tilted. People who managed to hang on to the boat were the ones who eventually survived in quick response by the FIF and NAVY boats that threw life jackets and held people. Due to lack of divers and volunteer staff the boats returned with as many as survivors as they could.
We managed to volunteer for this emergency situation and as we reached the sink site, there were no more survivors, all of them drowned. One of our divers recovered the first body of a young man, who breathed last in our arms as we were tried to drain water out of his stomach. We carried the body, to the bank where Army and Medics immediately transported it to the Ambulance.
Army Rescue workers retrieved the bodies of 17 people afterwards, including the groom, Shakir, Fauzia, Shahid Iqbal, Asif, Ali Abbas, Shahida, Akbar, Shan, Khadim Hussain and Inab Gul, while the bride and six other people were rescued and admitted to a hospital. According to ISPR, Inab Gul was a Naib Subedar who died during the rescue in order to save others while they were drowning. We witnessed the survivors that included infants, women and older ones wailing and shaken who were were comforted by Army and relief volunteers along with medics providing them with first aid.
We then continued on to our relief work by surveying the Kabir Wala and Qasim Bela area and then distributed the ration packs at Qasim Bela Multan to the families that were living in the tent village.
This whole rather unfortunate day of human losses and tragedy increased our resolve to further expand and contribute to the plight of our people in this testing times faced by Pakistan, where political crisis seem unending on one hand while crops, lands and lives continue to perish in the most merciless manner that has been witnessed in decades. Team PKKH invites all its readers to be part of the MERE LOG initiative to help the flood victims by providing them with ration packs, medicine and shelters. The most significant thing that we need is realizing that those facing these tragedies are indeed, our people. Mere Log, Hamaray Log.
Unseen Photos: Graphic Content