Van with 30 schoolchildren plunges into river in Pakistani Kashmir; most kids missing or dead

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A van carrying about 30 schoolchildren plunged into a river in Pakistan-held Kashmir on Tuesday, and four injured children and the driver were rescued, police said. Most of the others are confirmed or feared dead.

Local police chief Ghulam Akber said authorities managed to save the driver and four children after the accident in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-held Kashmir.

But school teacher Bashir Mughal said rescue workers arrived more than an hour after the accident, and it was local villagers who plucked the four children from the water.

Eleven bodies have been recovered from various points in the river, but the other children are still missing, said Akber.

Rescue workers managed to removed the van from the river, but they didn't find any children inside, said Mughal.

The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the van as he was driving along an elevated road next to the Jhelum River, said Akber. It plunged 50 feet (15 meters) into the river.

The area was affected by Pakistan's devastating floods that started in July, but that didn't appear to have been a factor in the crash.