Not less than 39 individuals died and 17 others had been injured after a passenger bus veered off a mountain street and rolled 300 ft down a hill onto one other street within the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
The non-public bus — with 56 individuals, together with the motive force, on board — left Kishtwar round 8.20am for the five-hour and 200km lengthy journey to Jammu, however round 11.50am, the motive force of the bus misplaced management in Doda district’s Assar space, mentioned the police.
The accident occurred at Trungal in Assar on Nationwide Freeway 244 (NH244) that connects Khanabal in Anantnag district to Batote in Ramban.
“Prima facie, overspeeding and negligent driving seem like the rationale behind the accident. Nevertheless, a radical probe will make issues clearer. There was a pointy bend on the freeway (NH244), however the street was in good situation and the bend had a double safety within the type of a parapet and crash obstacles. The bus dislodged them and rolled down the hill,” mentioned Doda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Abdul Qayoom.
Initially, 33 our bodies had been pulled out of the mangled steel heap of the bus on the foot of the gorge. “The useless are being recognized. They largely belonged to Kishtwar and Doda district,” mentioned Qayoom. The motive force was reported to be among the many useless, he added.
Not less than 4 critically injured individuals had been airlifted to a authorities medical school and hospital in Jammu. Nevertheless, two of them died en route taking the dying toll to 38, mentioned Qayoom. One other individual died on the hospital in Jammu in a while Wednesday.
The 17 remaining passengers have been hospitalised at a authorities medical school and hospital in Doda.
“My condolences to the households who’ve misplaced their close to and pricey ones. I pray that the injured get well on the earliest,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned on X (previously Twitter).
Native residents mentioned they had been among the many first responders. “There was chaos throughout on the accident website and we first thought that there are not any survivors… These injured are in crucial situation and in a state of trauma,” mentioned Manzoor Ahmed, an area resident.
The Prime Minister’s Workplace mentioned an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from the PM’s nationwide reduction fund (PMNRF) could be given to the following of kin of every deceased and ₹50,000 to the injured.
J&Ok lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha mentioned he was pained by the lack of lives. “My heartfelt condolences to bereaved households & wishing for a speedy restoration of these injured within the accident,” he wrote on X.
Union dwelling minister Amit Shah additionally expressed his grief over the incident. “Deeply anguished to study in regards to the lack of treasured lives as a consequence of a tragic bus accident at Doda, Jammu and Kashmir. The native administration is conducting the rescue operation within the gorge the place the bus had the accident. My heartfelt condolences to the households of the deceased and prayers for the speedy restoration of the injured,” Shah mentioned on X.
“We have now been serving to the administration in rescue operations, however it was a gory website for us. 4-to-five kids had been alive within the bus, and we pulled them out,” mentioned Mukhtiar Ahmed, a volunteer of Al-Care NGO, who was among the many rescuers.
Rescuers initially noticed round 28 our bodies on the spot and shifted them to the hospital in rescue vans, Ahmed mentioned, calling for a trauma hospital and significant care ambulances within the Assar space.
Umar, one other rescuer, who goes by one identify, mentioned, “We noticed marks of tyres on the street the place the bus went down the hill, indicating the motive force had utilized the brakes, however in useless.”
“It was a bend however the street, being NH244, was vast sufficient for 2 automobiles to go simply. It appears the motive force was over-speeding,” mentioned Umar.
Kishtwar SSP, Khalil Poswal mentioned the bus had left Kishtwar bus stand round 8.20am and at 9.30am it was captured in CCTV footage at Drabshall checkpost.
“Nevertheless, after three hours of its departure from Kishtwar bus stand, the bus met with an accident at Trungal,” he added.
Not less than 616 individuals have been killed in street accidents in Jammu and Kashmir this 12 months up to now. The best variety of deaths had been reported from Jammu (134), Doda (59) and Kathua districts (58).
Final 12 months, 805 individuals died and eight,372 had been injured in street accidents throughout the Union Territory.