HAFIZABAD : As many as eight persons including children drowned when an auto rickshaw fell in canal here on Sunday. Rescue sources said that an overloaded auto rickshaw skidded off road due to over speeding and plunged in Rakh Branch Canal near Sakhiki area of Hafizabad.

Eight persons including two children present in the rickshaw drowned in the deep water of the canal.

The dwellers of the area on self help basis fished out the bodies of three persons while search for others was in progress.

An atmosphere of grief and mourning gripped the area over death of eight persons.

Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif expressing deep grief over the sad incident has condoled with the bereaved families besides directing the authorities to compensate the victims families.