11 killed in Jammu and Kashmir as bus falls into gorge
Mohammed Rashid, a Surankote resident, said most of the deceased belonged to Gunthal, Draba, Lasana, Mandil and Lathoon villages.Updated: Jun 27, 2019 21:48 IST
At least 11 students of a private computer training institute were killed when the minibus they were travelling in fell into a gorge at Peer Ki Gali in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday. Officials said the vehicle was carrying students for a picnic from Poonch to Dhobijan.
Shopian deputy commissioner Owais Ahmad said the 11 included nine women. “The bodies have been sent to Poonch while those injured have been hospitalised,” he said. Ahmad said the vehicle fell into the gorge near a curve, which is wide enough. “The road condition is also good. It appears the driver was over speeding as the vehicle went over a parapet,” he said.
One of the survivors managed to jump off the vehicle before it plunged. “The driver was driving normally... As I was near a window, I immediately jumped out of the rolling vehicle. I saw it going deep into the gorge,” said Jabeen Kounsar, the survivor from Surankot in Poonch. Kounsar, who escaped with minor injuries, is undergoing treatment.
Shopian district hospital medical superintendent G M Bhat said the dead were aged between 22 and 26. He said one of the seven injured was critical. “Most of the injured have the head or spinal cord injuries,” he said.
Mohammed Rashid, a Surankote resident, said most of the deceased belonged to Gunthal, Draba, Lasana, Mandil and Lathoon villages. “There is mourning in every house. The families of the deceased are shell shocked over what has happened with them... All the men rushed to Shopian around 3.30 pm when the news about the accident spread. By this evening, they may have reached Srinagar,” he said.
Poonch’s senior police superintendent, Ramesh Kumar Angral, said the students were studying at Kashish Computer Institute in Surankote town. “Their families are in a state of shock. Majority of them have rushed to Shopian,” he said.
A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that prima facie investigations revealed that the vehicle had old worn-out tyres and that it was given fitness certificate last year. “The old tyres were retreaded and the unfit vehicle was moving on a dangerous Mughal Road.”
Another resident, who sought anonymity, said there was no check on unfit vehicles plying in the border district. “The drivers bribe traffic cops, who turn blind eye to unfit vehicles. They indulge in overloading..”
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced a compensation of ~ 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased.
First Published: Jun 27, 2019 21:48 IST