ATTOCK - At least eight people were killed and six others injured after a speeding passenger van smashed into a roadside tree near Fatehullah village in the Hasanabdal police limits on Friday. 

A woman, her 17-year-old son and the van driver were among the dead.

Rescue 1122 sources said that the ill-fated Peshawar-bound van (LEF-7106) was coming from Rawalpindi when the driver lost control of the van while overtaking another vehicle and smashed it into the roadside tree. As a result, seven passengers on board the van died on the spot and six others sustained injuries because of the damage sustained when the van rammed the tree. 

The dead and the injured were taken to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Hassanabdal before shifting the critically injured to Rawalpindi. The dead were identified as van driver Niaz Ali, Azmat Hayat, Baaz Gul, Khista Rehman, Abdul Hameed, Abdul Rehman, a 45-year-old unidentified woman and her 17-year-old son Fayazur Rehman. The identity of the injured could not be ascertained immediately.

Meanwhile, the local administration launched a crackdown and removed encroachments from various parts of Hassanabdal.  A team of the anti-encroachment department, led by Assistant Commissioner Jannat Hussain Nekokara, and with the help of a heavy police contingent carried out the anti-encroachment drive and razed several structures in various bazaars, markets, and roads. 

The encroachments were not only hampering smooth flow of traffic but also causing inconvenience to the public especially shoppers.  Before the launching of the drive, the municipal administration had issued notices to the encroachers to remove illegally-built structures but they ignored the warnings. “The removal of encroachments will help ease traffic flow on the roads,” said AC Jannat Nekokara.