New Delhi: A tragic accident occurred in the Doda district of Jammu on Wednesday when a bus carrying 55 passengers fell into a 300-feet deep gorge near the Chenab river. The bus was on its way from Kishtwar to Jammu when it skidded off the road near Trungal-Assar on the Batote-Kishtwar National Highway. The impact of the fall was so severe that 36 people died on the spot, while 19 others sustained injuries. Six of the injured are in critical condition and may be airlifted to a hospital in Jammu.
The police and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel reached the spot and launched a rescue operation. They recovered some bodies from the wreckage and shifted the injured to the Primary Health Care (PHC) center of Assar. The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, but sources said that the bus driver may have lost control due to over-speeding or a mechanical fault. The bus had a registration number of JK02CN-6555 and was a 52-seater vehicle.
The Jammu Divisional Commissioner Ramesh Kumar expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and assured that the administration will provide all possible assistance to the survivors. He also said that an inquiry will be conducted to find out the reasons behind the accident and to prevent such incidents in the future. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, also expressed her grief over the loss of lives and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. She announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.