The vehicle was forced off road by a landslide
© AFP/EPA
The vehicle was forced off road by a landslide in a mountainous area of northern Pakistan
A landslide in northern Pakistan has buried at least 15 people in a minibus under tonnes of mud and rock, police have confirmed.

Rescue workers are desperately searching for survivors following the incident on Sunday on Skardu Road, in the Tangos area.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn said 16 people on board had died, while two passengers had been dropped off before the tragedy. But police officer Wakil Khan suggested that the chances of finding anyone alive are slim.

He said the landslide overtook the vehicle that was travelling from the city of Rawalpindi in Punjab province to the scenic city of Skardu.


Mr Khan explained that the minibus was pushed into a deep ditch along the mountainous road in Skardu and buried under debris.

Rondu Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Mohammad Hassan said: '16 bodies have been recovered from the debris of the bus. Six of them have been identified, including the driver and conductor', Dawn reported.

The wreckage of a destroyed bus at a landslide
© REX
The wreckage of a destroyed bus at a landslide site in Skardu district
Landslides after heavy monsoon rain are common in Pakistan, and are the of cause widespread damage in mountainous areas.

One picture showed shrapnel from the incident, with the bus' number plate among the rubble. Mr Khan played down the chances of finding anyone alive, but said rescue workers and local volunteers are digging through the mud and rocks in search of survivors.

Associated Press reported earlier that there were only 15 people on board.

It comes as a similar incident in Vietnam saw at least 11 people killed in a landslide following the country's 'worst floods in years'.

11 others are still missing after the incident in central Quang Tri province, bringing the death toll nationwide to at least 64 this week.

Witnesses described rocks 'raining down like bombs' on a military camp at the bottom of a mountain.