SRINAGAR: A week after seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in militant attack, tragedy struck travellers to the cave shrine again on Sunday as a bus skidded off the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and fell into a 150-foot deep gorge. Sixteen people were killed in the accident while 29 others were injured. Many of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
A State Road Transport Corporation bus (JK02 Y0594), headed to the cave shrine in south Kashmir from Jammu, rolled down a deep gorge at Bisleri stream in Ramban district on Sunday afternoon, said police officials. Ten pilgrims were killed on the spot.
Police and Army personnel reached the spot immediately and launched a rescue operation. They helped ferry the injured to nearby hospital but six of the victims succumbed to injuries. An official added that 18 of the injured were airlifted to Government Medical College in Jammu for specialised treatment. The bus was carrying 46 pilgrims, police said, most of them from Bihar and Rajasthan.
After the accident, police in twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu established helplines to provide assistance to relatives of victims. People living near the accident site rushed to the hospital to provide assistance and donate blood.
After the accident, police in twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu established helplines for the people, who want to know information about the loved ones, who were travelling in the bus that met with the accident.
The deceased pilgrims were identified as Pawan Kumar S/o Dian Nath Parshad R/o Bihar; Dalip Kumar S/o Dina Nath Parshad R/o Bihar; Rohit Kumar S/o Shyam Parshad R/o Patna, Bihar; Sagar Kumar S/o Pardeep Parshad R/o Gandhipath, Bihar; Ram Karan Sharma S/o Gagan Sahai R/o Konta Jaipur (Rajasthan); Shalinder Singh S/o Balram Singh R/o Berobin Rajasthan; Ravinder Singh S/o Raghubir Singh R/o H No. 277 Indra Puri Modi Nagar Gaziabad U.P; Ravinder Singh S/o Rajinder Singh R/o H No. 375 Gali No. 01 Sherpur Dharamshala Modi Nagr Gaziabad U.P; Rahul Kumar S/o Daleep Singh R/o Golapur Datapur Cantt. M.No. 09334197690; Meena Devi /o Zuhar Sahu R/o Tarigadan Chankyapur Gai No.18 Denapur Bihar; Sikander S/o Pritam R/o Shahpur Modi Nagar Gaziabad U.P M.no. 8881563891, 9690045309; Sheeshpal Saini S/o Ganpat Ram R/o W. No. 12 Saini Nagar Nawal garh; Darshan Singh S/o Chajju Ram R/o H. No 11 ward No 12 Bishnah; Gogal Chand S/o Ghanisham; Rachet Sharma S/o H.L Sharma C7/2012 SDA Hauz Khas New Delhi 995845270 and Chander Kumar PNR No. 55XFXJ Dated 23 July 2017
Police said body of a male yatri was not identified yet.
J&K Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) that looks after management of Amarnath yatra, visited the accident site and Sub-District Hospital Banihal.
On behalf of the SASB, Vohra announced relief of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the incident and Rs.1 lakh each to those who had suffered injuries.
Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh and a group of ministers this evening visited Srinagar hospital to enquire about the health of yatris undergoing treatment there.
They were briefed by doctors about their health condition of injured yatris and the treatment being provided to them.
The Dy CM and ministers directed the hospital administration to extend best-possible treatment to those injured in the accident and provide specialized treatment to those injured seriously.
“Extremely pained by the loss of lives of Amarnath Yatris due to a bus accident,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock and grief over the death of Amarnath yatris in the tragic road accident.
She conveyed her heart-felt sympathies to the bereaved families in their hour of grief and has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.
The CM directed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to immediately release the ex gratia amount in favor of the next of kin of the deceased.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani also expressed deep sorrow over the death of pilgrims and expressed his solidarity with the next kin of those killed in the accident.
Last week seven pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured in militant attack on their vehicle at Botengoo area in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. One of the critically injured women undergoing treatment at a hospital in Srinagar, succumbed to injuries today taking the death toll to eight.
The 40-day yatra to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath commenced from both the 46-km traditional Pahalgam route in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and 14-km Batal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from June 29 and will end on 'Raksha Bandhan' on August 7.