37 killed, 19 injured as passenger bus falls into gorge in J&K's Doda

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By ETV Bharat English Desk

Published : Nov 15, 2023, 1:24 PM IST

Updated : Nov 15, 2023, 9:51 PM IST

Doda bus accident

In a tragic incident in Jammu and Kashmir, at least 37 people lost their lives in a road accident when the bus they were travelling into plunged into a gorge in Doda district. Rescue operation to shift the injured to hospitals is on.

36 killed as passenger bus falls into gorge in J&K's Doda

Doda (Jammu and Kashmir): At least 37 people were killed and 19 others injured after a passenger bus they were travelling in skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Sources said that the bus bearing registration number JK02CN 6555 was travelling from Kishtwar Bonjwa and was on its way to Jammu when it skidded off the road in the Assar area of the district and fell into a gorge.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known. It was not clear whether the accident was caused due to overloading or due to overspeeding by the driver. According to official records accessed by ETV Bharat, the bus, three and half years old is owned by one Dheeraj Gupta, a resident of Narwal area of Jammu.

Significantly, ETV Bharat has learned that the bus was once challaned on 12 August 2021 for the offence of overloading for which a fine of Rs 600 was imposed on the owner. Meanwhile, J&K LG Manoj Sinha has expressed grief over the tragic accident.

A rescue operation has been launched and some bodies have been retrieved, the officials said. The death toll is likely to go up. "At around 11:50 am, a bus bearing registration number JK02CN6555 met with an accident at Trungal-Assar on the highway, in which 36 persons died and 19 injured. This ill-fated bus was on its way from Kishtwar to Jammu. The rescue operation is going on and men and machinery have been pressed into service to shift the injured for medical treatment," a police spokesman said in a message here.

Doda Deputy Commissioner Harvinder Singh said 37 people were killed and 19 injured, including four who have been shifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu. "It is an unfortunate incident. It was said that the bus was not being run on the right side, which resulted in the accident," Singh said.

Some of the deceased have been identified and the bodies will be handed over to their families. "We checked all the details of the vehicle. Maybe it was not being driven in the right manner. The vehicle jumped over the crash barriers and rolled down," Singh said. An inquiry will be held into the incident, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed grief over the incident. "The bus accident in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir is distressing. My condolences to the families who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest," Modi said on X. He announced that an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each would be given to the injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

"Deeply anguished to learn about the loss of precious lives due to a tragic bus accident at Doda, Jammu and Kashmir. The local administration is conducting the rescue operation in the gorge where the bus had the accident. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured," Shah said on X.

Due to the fall from a considerable height, the bus was badly damaged, sources said. Police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel, besides locals, are involved in the rescue operation, they said, adding that some of the injured passengers have been shifted to hospitals. The injured were first taken to a hospital in Doda and subsequently, four of them were airlifted to the GMC hospital in Jammu.

Top police and civil administration officers are supervising the rescue operation on the spot. The officials said the bus was carrying extra passengers and while negotiating a "U" turn, it overturned and rolled down into the gorge. The bodies were taken out after cutting some parts of the bus, they added. Some of the bodies were badly mutilated, the officials said. Locals expressed concern over the poor condition of the road which, they said, not only led to this accident but several such incidents in the past. '

"The bus was going from Kishtwar to Jammu. Around 55 people were travelling in the bus and 36 of them were killed on the spot," Mohammad Ashraf, the sarpanch of the area where the accident took place, told reporters on the spot. Ashraf, who along with other local residents, launched the rescue operation, said at least 10 accidents have taken place in Doda of late, but the administration is yet to act.

"We gave Rs 6 lakh to repair the road. They failed to repair it. They have misappropriated the money. A similar accident took place here only a few months ago and many lives were lost," he added. "Extremely pained by the loss of lives in a tragic bus accident in Assar, Doda. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and wishing for a speedy recovery of those injured in the accident. Directed Div Com and Dist Admin to provide all necessary assistance to affected persons," Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on X. (With agency inputs)

so read: Woman killed, 6 injured as vehicle skids off road in J-K's Anantnag

Last Updated :Nov 15, 2023, 9:51 PM IST
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