SRINAGAR: In a tragic road accident, 11 Amarnath bound pilgrims were killed on Sunday when their bus skidded off the road and fell into a gorge almost 100 feet down, reports reaching from Banihal said.
Initial reports said the bus that was part of the Day 17 Amarnath convoy from Jammu crossed Ramban in teh afternoon. Sometime later, it was approaching a sharp bend , slightly elivated, when, most possibly it went out of control and fell into a gorge. The possible cause for the imbalance and getting out of control was the tyre puncture. The spot where the accident was reported is Nachilana, 11 kms from Banihal on way to Ramban. It rolled down near the local army camp.
The bus was carrying 42 pilgrims and various others who own and run the bus. While 11 are reported killed, all others have survived injured. Some of them are seriously injured.
A top police officer confirmed the accident. He said all the injured were shifted to Banihal and Ramban hospitals. They were in a bus that state run STRC owns and runs. Its registration number is JK02V-0594. Officials said it will take them time to identify and offer details about the accident and its inmates. “Right now, we are trying to send them to the hospitals,” one officer said.
Local resident were the first to reach the spot and start rescue. They were joined by army and police later. The entire highway was disturbed because of the accident.
An official said there is a strong possibility that the helicopters may be inducted to help fly the seriously injured to the hospitals.
Health authorities have shifted most of the basic requirements to the spot and created an almost open air center to offer the first aid to the survivors. After basic first aid, they are being driven to the hospital. Citizen journalism is highly active and is the main source of information right now when the officials are busy in the operations.