Jammu and Kashmir: Five killed, 53 injured in separate road accidents
Police rejected previous reports that the minibus involved in the Doda accident was hit by an avalanche. The actual cause of the mishap is yet to be ascertainedUpdated: May 04, 2017 20:00 IST
At least five people died and 53 others were injured in two separate road accidents in the mountainous Doda and Poonch districts of Jammu on Thursday.
Ten of the injured people were said to be in a critical state.
The first incident occurred at Gurdanda near Chattergala area of Bhaderwah-Bani-Basohli in Doda district. “Around 9 am this morning, a minibus moving on the Bhaderwah-Bani-Basohli axis skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge. Four people died on the spot and nine others were injured. Five of them suffered critical injuries,” said Doda deputy commissioner Bhupinder Kumar.
He said only an investigation would reveal if the vehicle developed a technical snag or the driver simply lost control over it. “Right now, our top priority is to ensure that the injured are taken care of. They have been shifted to the Doda government hospital,” Kumar added.
The deputy commissioner rejected previous reports that the minibus was hit by an avalanche. “It was nothing of the sort. The road was declared safe for traffic only a couple of days ago,” he said.
The deceased were identified as Udyanpur residents Tariq Hussain and Mohammed Shafi, Karnail Chand of Kashtigarh and Mool Raj of Bani. The five critically injured passengers are Sapna Devi, Sunita Devi, Ashfaq Ahmed and Sharik Ahmed (all residents of Bani), and Javeed Ahmed of Sartingal.
Another police officer claimed the mishap may have been caused by a freak incident. “According to reports, the minibus was moving through a narrow stretch when its roof hit a mass of ice hanging from a hill. It came crashing down on the vehicle, making it plummet into a deep gorge,” he said.
Local residents helped police officers rescue survivors from the scene.
In another accident, a man died and 44 others were injured when their bus skidded off the road in Mandi area of Poonch district on Thursday morning. Five of the injured are in a critical condition.
An official said the incident occurred while the vehicle was heading from Poonch town to Mandi. The deceased has been identified as Karan Suri from Khorinar.