ISLAMABAD: At least 12 passengers were killed and over 30 sustained injuries when two buses plunged into a ravine after colliding with each other near mountainous valley of Murree in northern Pakistan Wednesday.

Initial reports suggested deaths of more than 15 passengers. However, officials of Rescue 1122 have now confirmed that 12 dead bodies were recovered from the 50 meters deep ravine at Salgran. The officials said reckless driving and slippery road conditions amid rain and snow in the evening caused the accident.

A rescue operation was launched immediately after the deadly accident. Pakistan Army soldiers also helped rescue teams as they were facing difficulties due to extreme cold and darkness.

The dead and injured were shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Poly Clinic and private hospitals in Islamabad.

An emergency has been imposed in the hospitals and additional doctors and other medical staff have been called in to look after the injured.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took notice of the unfortunate accident and directed the DCO and CPO Rawalpindi to immediately launch the rescue operation there and supervise all these efforts personally.

The premier also noted with concern that there was absence of standard operating procedures for traffic regulation during bad weather conditions, which he added was not acceptable.

Sharif said that divisional administration and police must devise a strategy in this regard by Thursday afternoon and start its implementation.