Death toll up as bus crashes in northwest Pakistan

Road accidents are common in Pakistan where motorists largely disregard traffic rules and safety standards on battered roads. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2019

Death toll up as bus crashes in northwest Pakistan

  • Incident happened Sunday in the Chilas distract, on the bus’ route from Skardu to the city of Rawalpindi
  • Rescue efforts were facing difficulties in the remote mountainous terrain due to lack of needed equipment and resources

ISLAMABAD: A bus crash in northern Pakistan killed 26 people Sunday after its brakes failed on a winding mountain road, police said.
Another 20 passengers were injured when the bus smashed head-on into a dirt embankment, said Abdul Wakil, a local police officer.
Such road accidents are common in Pakistan, where motorists largely disregard traffic rules and safety standards on worn-out roads. Last month, a speeding bus fell off a mountainous road into a river in the northwest, killing 24 passengers.
Rescue efforts were hampered Sunday by the remote terrain near the town of Chilas on the route between the cities of Rawalpindi and Skardu. That's in the Gilgit-Baltistan area, part of the larger Kashmir region.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, and has been the sight of recent tensions. An army statement said ten soldiers were among those killed in the crash.
Wakil said two of the injured had died after being taken to the hospital, and that all the dead and injured had been evacuated to hospitals from the crash site.


Riyadh’s Sri Lankan gem tycoon dies at 80

Updated 6 min 38 sec ago

Riyadh’s Sri Lankan gem tycoon dies at 80

  • Razeen Salih entered the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing a 41.3 carat diamond for $4.6 million at a gem auction
  • He was the founder of Sri Lankan International School in Riyadh

COLOMBO: Razeen Salih, the celebrated Sri Lankan gem tycoon in Riyadh, died in India on Sunday night during a visit to the Tamil Nadu capital of Chennai.

The owner of Al-Nadeera Gem and Jewelry in Riyadh, 80-year-old Salih started his business in the Kingdom in late 1970s with his first shop, Al- Sharq Jewellers, in the Saudi capital.

In the early 1980s, Salih entered the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing a 41.3 carat diamond for $4.6 million at a gem auction in Geneva. The diamond, “Polar Star,” was once owned by the brother of the French Emperor Napoleon, and this was thought to be the highest price paid for a piece of jewelry at the time.

Salih, a renowned philanthropist, helped to set up the Sri Lankan International School in Riyadh, which has 1300 students today.

He attended Zahira College, Colombo, during the golden era of Dr. A.M.A. Azeez’s principalship, where he was a senior prefect and also represented the college at rugger. Everybody in College adored him for his enviable personality and his courage.

The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Azmi Thassim said that the death of Razeen Salih came as a great shock to the Sri Lankan community in the Kingdom. “He was our pride and his contributions towards the community are immeasurable. We hope and pray that Allah will give him the best place in Jannah for his valued services for the community uplift,” Thassim said.

Azad Yousuf, an accountant at a private medical hospital in Riyadh said that Salih had left a vacuum which no one else could fill it: “He was an icon in the Saudi business circle who brought Sri Lankan gems and jewelry to the Kingdom’s market.”

Salih is survived by his two daughters Aysha and Jamaaliyah.

His remains will be flown to Philadelphia, USA.