Massive landslide caused by lightning hits Pakistan, burying about two dozen trucks

Massive landslide caused by lightning hits Pakistan, burying about two dozen trucks f

A massive landslide hit a key highway in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, April 18, 2023, burying about two dozen trucks. As of early Thursday, rescuers have discovered the lifeless bodies of two individuals, while the fate of an undetermined number of missing persons remains uncertain. Local officials said it looks like the entire mountain has collapsed.

  • The landslide was reportedly caused by lightning that struck the mountain above the highway at about 02:30 LT. 
  • The event took place close to the town of Torkham in Khyber Pass — a mountain pass in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, located on the border with the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.

Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for a state-run rescue service — Rescue 1122, said two bodies were pulled out and eight people were injured. Several vehicles caught fire after the landslide, Faizi said.

“Authorities have launched a search operation to look for people trapped under the landslide. There could be more than 20 vehicles, including large trucks, under the rubble.

“This is not a small landslide that can be cleaned up quickly. We have more than 60 people working here to remove the rubble. It’s like an entire mountain has collapsed,” he said.

“Judging from the magnitude of the incident, ambulances and firefighters from other parts of the province have also been called in.

“Rescuers are very careful because there is a possibility of another landslide but they are risking their lives to pull out those feared trapped,” Faizi said.

“It was a massive landslide, and part of a mountain caved in when it was struck by lightning, trapping dozens of trucks waiting to cross the border,” witnesses told Xinhua.

The Torkham border crossing is a trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan and a location where landslides often block highways.


1 Massive landslide near Torkham border buries trucks, kills at least 2 people – DAWN – April 18, 2023

2 8 injured, scores missing after massive landslide hits Pakistan – IANS – April 18, 2023

3 Huge landslide in northwest Pakistan kills two, buries vehicles – Al Jazeera – April 18, 2023

4 Massive landslide buries trucks, kills 2 people in Pakistan – AP – April 18, 2023

Featured image credit: Pakistan Armed Forces


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