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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

16 killed as vehicle rolls down 500 ft on Doda highway; only survivor rushed to Jammu

Two children were among those killed in the accident, Senior Superintendent of Police said.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2019 18:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jammu
The vehicle with a carrying capacity of 10 rolled 500 feet down on main Batote-Doda highway from a link road around 2.45 pm
The vehicle with a carrying capacity of 10 rolled 500 feet down on main Batote-Doda highway from a link road around 2.45 pm(HT Photo)
         

At least 16 people, including three children and four women, died when a passenger vehicle (Trax) rolled down from a link road to Batote-Doda highway in Doda district Tuesday afternoon.

Doda district police chief SSP Mumtaz Ahmad said, the vehicle with a carrying capacity of 10 rolled 500 feet down on main Batote-Doda highway from a link road around 2.45 pm. Only one person survived in this tragedy.

The officer informed that the vehicle with 16 passengers and a driver was on its way to Marmat from Doda when the accident occurred at Khellani.

“Though it remains a subject of investigation but prima facie it appeared that the driver failed to negotiate a blind curve that resulted in the accident. The possibility of him using the mobile phone while driving also can’t be ruled out. He also died in the accident. There was only one survivor, who has been referred to the government medical college and hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment,” said the SSP.

Doda region consists of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts.

A local Mohammad Rashid from Doda town said, “There are inadequate vehicles, out of which majority are old. Roads are very bad and no one pays any attention to overloading. People are also in a hurry. Half of the drivers are untrained and many among them are addicted to drugs. We are at the mercy of God.”

On July 1, a minibus carrying 52 passengers against seating capacity of 28 plunged into a gorge at Keshwan in adjoining Kishtwar district killing 35 passengers and leaving 17 others injured.

PDP leader Firdous Tak said, “Overloading, no crash barriers, very bad roads and inadequate buses remain four prime reasons for frequent road accidents in hilly Doda region, which keeps on taking a heavy toll on human life”.

While 10,000 people died in over 55,000 road accidents in the past decade in the state, successive governments did just cosmetic exercise in the name of road safety.