JAMMU: Some injured passengers of the ill-fated bus, which crashed into a gorge today killing 21 on board, are in the dark about the fate of their loved ones who were with them when the tragedy struck.
For 32-year-old Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Latti village of Udhmapur district, the journey towards Jammu was aimed at bringing cheers to his entire family, but little did he know that it would end with a struggle for survival. Rakesh along with his wife and a two-year-old daughter boarded the ill-fated bus just minutes before it met with the accident. The family was on its way to Udhampur as Kumar's wife's was expecting a child.
"My wife was expecting second baby and we all boarded the bus just two minutes before the accident took place," he said. Rakesh said that as the bus was overloaded he along with his wife and daughter had to stand in one corner of the bus. "As we were settling down, suddenly the bus rolled down the gorge," he said. Rakesh received multiple fractures and says that he has no information about the whereabouts of his wife and daughter.
"My wife and daughter have been missing, I have no information whether they have survived or not in the accident, as I myself have been left with broken limbs I cannot even get up to search for them," he said. A large number of patients who were shifted to Government Medical College Hospital Jammu for treatment have no information about the whereabouts of their loved ones who were travelling with them.
"I was travelling with my wife and two sons, but I have no information of their whereabouts. I can only pray that they must have survived this tragedy," Perm Nath (56) said. The hospital authorities here say that their priority right now is to take care of the seriously injured patients. "So far we have received six persons out of which one was brought dead, doctors of various departments are on the job providing the patients with treatment," Dr Ravinder Rattan Paul, Medical Superintendent GMC Jammu said.
Rattan said that he and his staff expect more patients to come and the hospital staff has been kept on standby for them. "The hospital staff has been kept on standby to cater to the incoming injured passengers of the ill-fated bus," he said. 21 people died and at least 30 others were injured, six of them critically, when their bus fell into a deep gorge in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir this morning. The passenger bus, which was on its way to Udhampur from Latti belt, skidded off the road and rolled down into the gorge in Maroti belt in the district, officials said.
The number of causalities is expected to rise. The injured are being hospitalised and choppers were put in service to airlift the critically injured people to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu from Mantalie belt of Udhampur.