Srinagar: Twenty-one people were killed and 10 persons were injured critically when an overcrowded minibus skidded off the road and fell into a 400-feet gorge along the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Saturday.
The vehicle (JK19 1593) on way to Ramban town from Banihal rolled down the gorge at Kela Morh when the driver lost control while negotiating the curve. Rescuers immediately rushed to the spot but it took them time to reach the ill-fated bus due to the steep slope, an official said.
◆ August 20: Twelve people killed and two injured when overcrowded minibus rolled down a gorge in Kishtwar.
◆ August 3: Three people killed in Ramban when a truck skidded off the road and fell down a hill.
Deputy Inspector General of Police of Doda-Ramban region, Rafiq-ul-Hassan, told Kashmir Reader that the cause of the accident was the driver losing control of the vehicle.
Among the dead were four women and the bus driver.
The injured passengers were airlifted to Jammu and admitted to Government Medical College and associated hospitals.
Officials said that 15 persons died on the spot, while six others succumbed to injuries at different hospitals including one at an army hospital where he was admitted after being airlifted from the accident site.
Local volunteers launched a rescue operation soon after the accident and were soon joined by quick reaction teams of police and army, officials said.
Deputy Commissioner Ramban Showkat Aijaz and Senior Superintendent of Police Anita Sharma reached the site to supervise the rescue operation and subsequently requisitioned choppers to airlift the critically injured persons.
A total of six sorties were made by helicopters, a private airliner and a state helicopter for ferrying injured to hospitals in Jammu.
The deceased were identified as Mashqoor Ahmad Giri, Mohd Shafi Rather, Sunil Singh, Mohd Irfaan, Manzoor Ahmad, Nayeem Ahmad, Rukshanda, Farheen, Rayaz Ahmad Khan, Mohd Iqbal Shah, Mohd Ramzan Wani, Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie, Rashma, Tanveer Ahmad Baigh, Kajal Devi, Ramtullah Rather, Mudasir Ahmad Mir, Mohd Yousef Kumar, Utkaranth Mangotra, and one unidentified male body.
Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for the next of the kin of those dead and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the accident.
The Governor also directed the district administration Ramban to provide best possible health care to those injured.
for ed souls and strength to the bereaved families. He wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
with inputs from PTI