SKARDU - At least eight people including three women of a same family drowned after a passenger van fell into Shyok River near Khaplo in Ghanche district on Tuesday.

According to Rescue sources, the tragedy took place when the unfortunate van failed in negotiating a sharp turn on the road by the Shyok River, which literally means "the river of death."

"The vehicle veered off the road, rolled down the sheer descent, and landed in the frigid waters of the river in a matter of minutes", the sources added.

The emergency responders, who wasted no time in reaching the scene, fear there may not be any survivors.

"We have so far pulled at least four bodies out of the water, while the search for others is underway, rescue sources said.