South Asia

Fourteen women die in Pakistan sewage tank collapse

Villagers at the site of the collapsed sewage tank
Image caption It is not clear whether the women drowned in the sewage or were killed by the fall

At least 14 women died in north-western Pakistan when a porch above a sewage tank collapsed during a funeral, police say.

The women had been packed in the courtyard of a house in Buner district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, to get a better view of the ceremony.

At least 10 people were injured in the accident in Jhor village.

Many homes in the area lack proper plumbing and divert waste from their homes into holes covered with concrete.

Correspondents say it is not clear if the women drowned in the sewage or were killed by the fall.

A 15th woman who fell into the sewage was in a critical condition, while nine people who tried to rescue them also suffered serious injuries.

Officials say the victims had gathered on the porch after the funeral casket arrived.

"The porch was situated over a large sewage tank that had been recently constructed," Syed Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, head of the local administration in Buner, told the BBC.

"It was in the house of a local citizen, whose body had just been brought back from Peshawar for burial."

Mr Rahman said that the porch had caved in "under the sheer weight of numbers".

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