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Hell's Road: Pakistan Truckers' Deadly Journey

First Posted: 02/22/2012 5:25 pm Updated: 02/22/2012 5:27 pm

Deep in Pakistan's Chitral Valley, 3,100 meters above sea level, seemingly ageless, colorfully-decorated trucks are lining up to cross the Lowari Pass -- or Hell's Road, as the route is more commonly known. The trucks' drivers make $60 a month, never knowing whether a trip across the deadly pass will be their last.

In the series Risking It All, Al Jazeera follows the truckers of the Lowari Pass, one of the most dangerous travel routes in the world. "We may not come back to our homes. We may not meet our children. An accident can take place in an area like the Lowari Pass anytime," a trucker explains to the network.

The Lowari pass is about 150 miles long, and it is the only road connecting the Chitral Valley to the rest of Pakistan, Al Jazeera reports.

The road is slippery and narrow. There is barely enough room for two trucks to pass. Melting snow creates avalanches and torrents, forming holes and cracks in the already damaged pavement.

Why do the truckers risk their lives traveling such insane twists and turns? "There is no future. We work, that's all. This job has no future," trucker Dawoud tells Al Jazeera.

Many of the drivers smoke local drugs to help them relax. "Smoking hashish makes me stop worrying about all the problems I will be facing on this road. I forget about the danger," driver Dawoud says. However, drugs are one of the main causes of accidents, Al Jazeera reports.

Click here to read Al Jazeera's full report.

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |