11 killed, 14 injured as mini-bus falls into gorge in Doda

Bhadarwah/Jammu: Eleven people travelling in a mini-bus were killed and 14 injured when the vehicle skidded off the road and rolled down into a deep gorge on the Batote-Kishtwar highway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Thursday, officials said.

The mini-bus, which was on its way from Thathri to Doda, fell into the gorge near Soi-Gwari, they added.

The driver, who was also among the dead, reportedly lost control of the vehicle and it fell downhill on the banks of the Chenab river, the officials said, adding that the incident occurred early in the morning.

Police, Army and SDRF personnel, assisted by locals, launched the rescue operation. The injured people were rushed to the GMC hospital in Doda, where doctors declared nine of them “brought dead”.

Superintendent Associate of the hospital Dr Yudhvir Singh said of the 25 people brought to the hospital, nine were declared dead and two succumbed to the injuries subsequently.

Seven of the nine who were brought dead were identified as Ghulam Hussain Shah (60), his son Shabbir Ahmed (30), Rhitik Sharma (19), Jammal din (23), Mohammad Latief (65), Annari Devi (55) and Bahadur Singh (65), the hospital authorities said, adding that Santosh Kumar (22) and Rajesh Kumar (24) died at the hospital.

Two bodies are yet to be identified, they said.

Six of the injured people were airlifted to the GMC hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment as their condition was critical, the authorities said.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed deep anguish over the tragic road accident in Doda.

“My thoughts and prayers for the families who have lost their loved ones. Have directed the District administration to provide immediate relief to families of deceased and best medical assistance to the injured,” he said in a tweet.

The LG said the Jammu and Kashmir administration will ensure the treatment of those injured in the tragic road accident.

“Rs 2 lakh to be given to next of kin of deceased from LG’s discretionary fund & Rs 1 lakh from road victim fund as immediate relief. I am monitoring situation & every possible assistance to grieving families will be extended,” he said in another tweet.

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