At least four persons were killed while five others were critically wounded after a vehicle they were travelling in skidded off the road and fell downhill near Khelleni in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Friday morning. One of the deceased was a woman.
An official said a passenger cab bearing registration number PB 32A-9851 was on its way from Punjab to Gandoh when it skidded off the road near Khelleni, 10 km from Doda on NH 244, apparently after the driver lost control over the vehicle. The vehicle, he said, fell 150 feet downhill after several somersaults on another portion of the road.
Reports said that “Locals as well as policemen evacuated all the nine passengers from the badly damaged vehicle and shifted them to District Hospital Doda.
Four injured were declared dead on arrival while five critically injured are undergoing treatment at the District Hospital. The deceased have been identified as Haji Ali, Hashim Din, Khadim Hussain and Aasiya Begum- all residents of Chilly, Bhalessa. The injured were identified as Talib Hussain, Hassan Din, Shahida Bano, Liyakat Ali and Hanifa Bano – all resident of Chilly Bhalessa.
Meanwhile, Minister for Public Works Department, Naeem Akhtar expressed deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives. The Minister said that given the vulnerability of Batote-Kishtwar road, the Chief Engineer R&B Jammu has been asked to work out the feasibility of providing an alternate link bypassing the existing susceptible stretches.
“As soon as the feasibility report for the alternate link is finalized, the R&B Department would start work on it after fulfilling the requisite codal formalities,” the Minister said and added that Rs 90 crore already stand sanctioned for upgradation of Batote-Kishtwar highway.