Jammu and Kashmir: 21 Dead, 47 Injured as Bus Carrying Pilgrims Falls into Gorge

   

JAMMU: Twenty-one people were killed and 47 injured after a bus carrying pilgrims skidded off the road and rolled down into a gorge in Jammu district on Thursday, officials said.

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Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha has expressed anguish at the loss of lives in the accident.

The accident took place at the Tungi-Morh in the Chowki Chora belt of the district, the officials said, adding that the bus rolled around 150 feet down into the gorge.

A police spokesperson said at about 12:35 pm, the bus bearing registration number UP81CT-4058 fell into the gorge, killing 21 passengers and injuring 47.

The bus was carrying devotees from Haryana’s Kurukshetra and was headed towards Shiv Khori in the Pouni area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. It had started its journey from Uttar Pradesh.

The bodies have been shifted to the Akhnoor sub-district hospital, the police spokesperson said, adding that of the injured, seven have been admitted in the Akhnoor hospital and 40 in the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu.

The rescue operation is going on, the official added.

The injured were initially shifted to the Akhnoor hospital for treatment. Subsequently, 36 of them, including six in a critical condition, were shifted to the GMC hospital in Jammu in ambulances, the officials said.

“More than 36 passengers have been brought to the GMC hospital. Six of them are in a critical condition. Timely treatment is being given to the patients,” principal of the hospital Dr Ashutosh Gupta said.

The injured passengers said the accident took place when the driver was negotiating a blind curve and a speeding car was coming from the opposite direction.

“A car was coming from the opposite direction. The driver tried to negotiate a blind curve but failed, resulting in the vehicle rolling down into the gorge,” Amar Chand, one of the injured people undergoing treatment at the Akhnoor hospital, said.

Those who sustained injuries in the incident said they had come for a pilgrimage to Shiv Khori.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Faisal Qureshi, the transport commissioner, along with other officials, visited the spot and supervised the operation.

The SSP said it seems there was no overloading of passengers in the bus.

The SSP and the deputy commissioner of Jammu visited the GMC hospital to inquire about the injured.

The LG has expressed his anguish at the loss of lives in the tragic accident.

In a condolence message, Sinha said, “The bus accident in Akhnoor is heart-rending. I condole the loss of lives and pray to the almighty to give the bereaved families the strength to bear the irreparable loss. Praying for a speedy recovery of the injured. The administration is providing all possible assistance to the bereaved families and is also extending medical facilities to those who have been injured.”

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