Islamabad: Twenty-four army personnel were killed and five others were injured on Saturday when a bus plunged into a ravine in northern Pakistan, officials said.

The bus, which was going from the garrison city of Rawalpindi to Gilgit, fell into a ravine along the Karakoram Highway in Kohistan district.

There were 29 people on board and 24 army personnel were killed instantly, officials said. "All the 24 killed are Pakistan Army personnel and we have started a rescue operation. We have called in the army to airlift the injured and bodies to Rawalpindi," Aqal Badshah, the Deputy Commissioner of Kohistan, told the media.

Some reports said the driver was speeding and lost control of the bus. The vehicle plunged several hundred feet and hit the bottom of a hill. The dead and injured were taken to a nearby rural health centre.

Authorities called in army helicopters to ferry the wounded to Rawalpindi.


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