MUZAFFARABAD : At least 16 people were killed when a passenger van plunged into a deep ravine in Azad Kashmir on Tuesday, officials said.

The accident happened in the area of Chattha Pal, 150 kilometres southeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir.

"At least 16 people were killed and seven others were wounded, three of them critically when their van plunged into a 300-feet deep ravine," local administration official Shamim Arif told AFP. He said the van was overloaded with up to 30 people and speeding.

The driver lost control while taking a sharp turn on the narrow and poorly maintained road in the mountainous region.

Local police official Tariq Khan confirmed the accident and deaths.

Pakistan has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly-maintained vehicles and reckless driving.