22 UP pilgrims die, 57 hurt after bus rolls off Jammu highway, falls in gorge | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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22 UP pilgrims die, 57 hurt after bus rolls off Jammu highway, falls in gorge

May 30, 2024 06:36 PM IST

The accident took place when the pilgrims were on their way to Shiv Khori, a shrine devoted to Lord Shiva near Reasi town 50km away

JAMMU: At least 22 pilgrims including nine women and two children died and 57 others injured after a bus from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras spun off a road and fell into a deep gorge in Jammu district’s Akhnoor area on Thursday, officials said.

The injured were initially shifted to the Akhnoor hospital for treatment before being shifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu. (Videograb)
The injured were initially shifted to the Akhnoor hospital for treatment before being shifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu. (Videograb)

Inspector Tariq Ahmed, station house officer of Akhnoor police station, said the accident took place at about 12:35pm at Tungi Morh, 12 km from Akhnoor, on the Jammu-Poonch national highway when the pilgrims were on their way to Shiv Khori shrine devoted to Lord Shiva near Reasi town 50km away.

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“As of now, we are not clear how many passengers were on the bus…. We are in the middle of rescue operations” Ahmed said.

Akhnoor sub-division block medical officer Dr Saleem Khan said 22 people had died so far and 57 others were injured. “A majority of those injured have been shifted to the government medical college and hospital in Jammu while some are at the sub-district hospital in Akhnoor,” Dr Khan added.

The Akhnoor SHO said the driver might have been drowsy. “At the turn, the bus rolled down around 150 to 200 feet into the gorge,” he said.

A witness, who was among the local residents to join the rescue operation, said the bus approached the curve too fast and fell into the gorge.

“A bus carrying passengers from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has met with an accident near Tanda, Akhnoor in Jammu.Rescue operations are underway. ,” Jammu Deputy Commissioner, Sachin Kumar Vaishya said in a post on ‘X’, formerly Twitter.

Jammu and Kashmir transport commissioner Rajinder Singh Tara said that the driver was unable to negotiate a cut which resulted in the bus accident. “The cut here is very ordinary and there shouldn’t have been any difficulty, but maybe the driver fell asleep, and he couldn’t negotiate the cut. Instead of taking the turn, the bus went straight and went down,” he said, according to news agency ANI.

Amar Chand, one of the injured people undergoing treatment at the Akhnoor hospital, said the accident took place when the driver was negotiating a blind curve and a car was coming from the opposite direction. “A car was coming from the opposite direction. The driver tried to negotiate a blind curve but failed, resulting in the vehicle rolling down into the gorge,” he said, according to PTI.

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed anguish on the loss of lives in the tragic bus accident.

“Anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus mishap in Akhnoor. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that the injured recover soon. Rs. 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of each deceased due to the bus mishap. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000,” the PMO said in a post.

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