ISLAMABAD               -                 Two out of 25 Pakistani nationals lost their lives when a boat carrying 71 individuals of various nationalities capsized in Lake Van, Bitlis Province in the east of Turkey, Foreign Office said in a statement issued here Friday.

“We have learnt with deep sorrow about the tragic incident of a boat capsizing in Lake Van, Bitlis Province in the east of Turkey, which carried nationals of various countries including Pakistan,” the statement said.

Pakistan Embassy in Turkey and Consulate General in Istanbul were in contact with the local Turkish authorities to seek further information and provide all possible assistance to the Pakistani nationals involved, it added.

“As per the information shared by the Turkish authorities, a total of 71 individuals of various nationalities were present on the boat when it capsized including 25 from Pakistan. Turkish authorities carried out the search and rescue operation in the aftermath of the accident. Unfortunately, two Pakistani nationals lost their lives,” the statement said.

“Our Missions in Turkey are in touch with the local authorities to ascertain the identity of the deceased individuals. The families of the deceased will be notified upon confirmation of their identities and all possible assistance will be extended to the bereaved families for repatriation of the remains of their loved ones,” it added.

According to the Foreign Office statement, the other 23 Pakistani nationals present on the boat had been rescued and were with the local Turkish authorities. Those in need of medical attention were being treated in local hospitals, it added.

For further information and facilitation, the officers of the Embassy at Ankara and Consulate General in Istanbul who can be contacted were: 1) Umer Siddique, Counsellor, Embassy of Pakistan, Ankara, Contact No. 00905355138499, and 2) Amir Berlas, Protocol Assistant, Consulate General of Pakistan, Istanbul, Contact No. 00905325683413.