Sixteen Amarnath pilgrims had died and 19 other were injured in a road accident in Samba district, about 50-km from Jammu city, late last night.
The truck carrying about 40 people skidded off the road and plunged into a nullah at Zamoorah morh. According to injured, the driver, travelling at a high speed, failed to negotiate the sharp curve and applied breaks as a result the truck lost the balance.
Most the deceased were returning from Baltal base camp where they had set up a langar-free community kitchen.
They had left Baltal on July 24.
According to the police 12 had died on the spot, two other succumbed to injuries at district hospital Samba and other two at Government Medical College Jammu, where injured were shifted.
Police and Army personnel, including deputy commissioner Samba Mubarak Singh, immediately reached the spot on receiving the information.
Some of the deceased, who were operating langar at Baltal, had reached there on June 20 and were returning home after more than a month of community service.
“I don’t’ remember the place of accident. But driver was driving at very high speed and suddenly he applied brakes and tuck skidded off the road. After that what happened I don’t remember,” said Amit, one the injured.
On July 14, in another road accident 15 pilgrims had died in a road accident at Ramban.