At least 35 people died and 16 others were injured when an overcrowded bus skidded off a hilly road and fell into a deep gorge in Kishtwar district on Monday morning, officials said.
The minibus, which was on its way from Keshwan to Kishtwar, skidded off the Keshwan-Thakrai road and rolled down into the deep gorge around 7.30 am, officials said.
Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar A S Rana, said that the 28-seater bus was carrying 52 passengers when the accident occurred, adding that a probe would be ordered.
Thirty-five people died and 16 others were injured, district Senior Superintendent of Police Shakti Pathak said.
The police, security agencies and the locals launched a rescue operation and shifted the injured to the hospital. Choppers were flown in and three passengers were airlifted from the site to the Jammu Government Medical College Hospital here, officials said.
According to reports, a mini bus with the capacity of 25 passengers bearing registration number JK17-6787 was carrying 55 passengers and was on its way from Keshwan to Kishtwar when the accident took place.
The driver lost control while negotiating a sharp curve and vehicle skidded off the road and rolled down about 400 feet and fell into a gorge at Sirgwari (Thakrie) near Kuryal Pul, about 25 KM from Kishtwar town.
After receiving information about the mishap, Police, SDRF, volunteers of Ababeel and Red Cross society along with locals rushed to the spot and started a rescue operation. Later, Army also joined the rescue operation.
All passengers were shifted to District Hospital Kishtwar, where doctors declared 23 as brought dead while 12 more later succumbed to their injuries taking the toll to 35 as the last reports came in.
An official said 55 passengers were on board when the mishap took place. Three critically injured were airlifted to GMC Jammu for further treatment.
Meanwhile, on the call of Traders Union Kishtwar, all schools and business establishments in Kishtwar closed as a mark of condolence and in protest to the overloading.
When contacted, DC Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana, said, “I supervised the rescue operation. A preliminary investigation shows that it seems to be the negligence of driver, possibly the overcrowding resulted in the accident.”
“We have already airlifted 3 seriously injured to GMC Jammu in Pavan Hans chopper, now we are waiting for the army helicopter to shift 11 other injured to GMC,” officer added.
The deceased have been identified as Amjad Mir s/o Abdul lattef Mir R/O Keshwan Proper, Ghulam Mohd Butt S/o Ahmadoo Butt R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Begma Begum w/o Usman khanday R/Nagaran Keshwan, Depak kumar S /o Naib Chand R/O Pakalan Thakrie, Tahira Begum w/o Late Irshad Ahmed R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Noor din Chouhan S/o Kumma Gujjar R/O Jugna Keshwan, Shazia Banoo s/o Late Akther Hussain R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Bat Krishan s/o Dewa Nand R/O Keshwan, Binota Devi W/o Bal krishan R/O Keshwan, Taja Begum W/O Gh Hussain Mir R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Saja Begum W/O Abdullah Wani R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Nahida Banoo D/o Bashir Ahmed Mir R/O Gamas Keshwan, Akhter Hussain S/O Abdul Sammad But R/O Keshwan, Akhter Hussain R/O Keshwan, Baby S/o Akhter Hussain R/O Keshwan, Wasim Raja S/O Abdul Sammad R/O Nagaran Keshwan, Bibi Begum W/O Jamal R/O Jugna Keshwan, Zaitoona Banoo D/O Shafi Ahmed R/O Keshna Keshwan, Noor Din S/O Jamat R/O Jugna Keshwan, Hajra Begum w/o Bashir Ahmed R/O Balna Keshwan, Parmeela Devi W/O Nek Ram R/O Anjote kishtwar, Haknawaz Butt S/O Ghulam Mohd Butt R/O Keshwan, Taraq Hussain Rather S/o Ghulam Mohd Rather R/O Nagnigarh Keshwan, Abdul Hamid Rather S/O Wali Mohd Rather R/O Keshwan, Masoom Ali S/o Mohd Shafi R/O Bresmena Premnager, Sajan sharma S/o Rakesh Kumar R/O Keshwan, Junaid Sheikh S/o Javed Sheikh R/O Keshwan, Aqib Hussain S/o Akhter Hussain Butt R/o Keshwan, Ashwani kumar S/o late jai Lal R/O keshna keshwan, Bashir Ahmed S/o Qasim Din Gujjar R/O Jugna Keshwan, Nawaza Begum W/o Javed Ahmed Sheikh R/O Keshwan, Rakesh Kumar S/o Dina Nath R/O (driver ), Gulabi Begum W/o Kher Din R/O Keshwan, Asia Tabasum D/o Mohd Usman Khanday R/o Nagaran Keshwan and Bashir Ahmed S/o Gh. Hussain R/O Keshwan.
The injured have been identified as Parveena Banoo D/o Abdul Gaffer R/O Keshwan, Mohammad Abdullah S/o Abdul Subhan Wani R/O Keshwan, Deepa D/o Jodh Ram R/O Keshwan. Mohd Ilyas S/o Shuban Butt R/o Keshwan, Azra Banoo D/o Gh.Mohd R/O Keshwan, Kulsuma Banoo D/o Mohd Ashraf Mir R/O Keshwan, Abdul Rehman S/o Ahmadoo Butt R/o Keshwan, Haseena Banoo D/O Ghulam Mohi- ud- din R/O Keshwan, Muneema Begum W/o Zakir Hussain R/O Keshwan, Parmeena Banoo D/o Mohd Ashiq R/O Keshwan, Irshad S/o Sardaroo R/O Keshwan. Lekh Raj S/o Bidya Lal R /O Sarawan, Adeeba D/o Akhter Hussain R/O Keshwan, Arjun S/o Nek Ram R/O Anjoli, Rayees Ahmed S/o Ghulam Mohi-ud- din R/O keshwan and Muneer Ahmed S/o Abdul Aziz R/O Keshwan.