Trucker killed as rolling boulders hit vehicle, traffic disrupted on highway

Banihal/Jammu: A truck driver from Rajasthan was killed and six persons, including three CRFP personnel, were injured as rolling boulders from hillocks hit vehicles and also disrupted traffic along the Jammu-Srinagar highway for the sixth consecutive day on Sunday, officials said.
Thousands of valley-bound passenger vehicles and trucks loaded with essential supplies were allowed to move on Sunday afternoon after remaining stranded for over 20 hours on the 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, the officials said.
They said the road clearance agencies worked overtime over the past week to keep the arterial road open after incessant rains triggered multiple landslides and shooting of stones from hillocks overlooking the highway at over a dozen places between Ramban and Ramsu since Tuesday.
They said a parked truck came under rolling boulders from hillocks at Khooni Nallah in the early hours on Sunday, killing its driver Dev Ram of Rajasthan who was sleeping inside the cabin at the time of the incident.
They said another truck carrying LPG cylinders to Kashmir was also damaged when it was hit by the boulders but its crew escaped unhurt in the incident.
Driver Gulzar Ahmad (20) of Shopian and two of his passengers, Muzamil Sheikh (35) and Sayar Ahmad Sheikh (17) of Bihar, were injured when boulders hit a cab at the same place on Saturday evening, the officials said.
Three CRPF personnel were also injured when their car rammed into a roadside boulder near Tikri on the highway in Udhampur district on Saturday, they said, adding the condition of the injured personnel, who were on way to Jammu from Udhampur, was stated to be “stable”.
Multiple landslides blocked the highway at several places between Ramban and Ramsu on Saturday, forcing suspension of the traffic, the officials said.
The debris were cleared and the stranded vehicles were allowed to move towards their destinations this afternoon.
No fresh traffic was allowed on the highway either from Jammu or Srinagar on Sunday to facilitate clearance of stranded vehicles, the officials said.

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