Five people were killed and 17 others injured in a road accident near Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, on Wednesday evening.
The mishap occurred when a Tata 407 vehicle carrying 22 passengers from Reasi to Katra skidded off the road and rolled 300 metres down into a gorge. The accident took place near a police check post at Balni when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and lost his control over the steering. The vehicle, which had a seating capacity of only 13 persons, was overloaded and led to its imbalance, resulting in the mishap.
Three males and two females were reportedly killed on the spot. Out the 17 injured, 16 were shifted to Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital, Jammu, while one was referred to Sub District Hospital (SDH), Katra.
Katra police under the supervision of SDPO, Katra and SP, Katra reached the spot and evacuated the dead and injured out of the vehicle. Police have registered the case and started investigation into the mishap.
Four out of the five killed in the accident have been identified as Tara Singh, Nimmo Devi, Sanjeev Malhotra and Kamla Devi. Identification of a male could not be established.
Many among the injured shifted to GMC, Jammu are reported to be critical. The one referred to sub district hospital, Katra is said to be stable.