Rawalpindi - At least seven passengers died and 12 others were injured seriously after a passenger van smashed into a tree here at Missa Kaswal area yesterday.

The incident took place after breaking of tie-rod of the speeding passenger van that was coming from Gujrat to Rawalpindi, they sources said. The victims were immediately rushed to Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital Gujar Khan by Rescue 1122 and National Highway and Motorway Police where a state of emergency was also declared.

According to sources, five passengers died on the spot, two succumbed to their injuries in the hospital while the condition of other injured was stated to be critical.

Assistant Commissioner Shahid Imtiaz Gondal also visited the hospital and enquired about the health of injured, besides ordering the doctors to provide adequate health facilities to the injured.

An eyewitness told The Nation that the driver of passenger van and two other passengers were sitting on front seat remained unhurt.

A police team also visited the incident place and mentioned the accident in daily crime register.