Kishtwar, Sep 14: At least 16 passengers were killed while 12 others injured after the driver lost control over mini-bus and rolled down into the Chenab river at Thakrie area of Chenab Valley’s Kishtwar district.
The incident occurred on Friday morning. Shortly after the accident, rescue teams including locals, army and Jammu and Kashmir launched operation and retrieved 16 bodies.
An official told news agency CNS the mini-bus (JK17/0663) skidded off the road and fell down about 250 ft deep into Chenab River at Tahtgan area near Kudiyapul in Thakrie area of Bhandarkot.
He said that rescue teams managed to retrieve 15 dead bodies while 12 passengers were shifted to hospital in injured condition.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said helicopters and other machinery were pressed into service to evacuate injured to hospital. “The death toll may rise as many injured are critical,” Verma added.
The deceased were identified as Muhammad Ashraf s/o Abdul Rashid Bhat, Nazir Ahmed son of Muhammad Ali Shah, Tahir Hasan, son of Ghulam Hasan Khandey, Misra Begum wife of Nazir Ahmed, Muhammad Yousuf son of Muhammad Maqbool Rather, Umar Ahmed son of Abdul Majid Rather, Nazir Ahmed son of Abdul Aziz Rather, Akhtar Hussain son of Muhammad Ramzan Bhat, Tariq Hussain son of Shabir Ahmed, Sakina Begum wife of Tariq Hassan, Girdhari Lal son of Raja Ram, Muhammad Amin son of Abdul Ahad, Majeeda Begum wife of Ghulam Hasan, Ghulam Mohiuddin son of Ghulam Rasool Rather.
The injured were identified as Irfan Ahmed, Baby Aisha, Waseem Raja, Muhammad Yousuf, Sajida Begum, Muhammad Ismail, Lal Singh, Mukhtara Begum, Abdul Rashid, Muhammad Abdullah, Sakeena Bano, Mudasir Ahmed and Vikram. Two injured ladies were not been identified.
Governor Satya Pal Malik prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families. He has wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
Governor has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia relief for the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to each of those injured in this accident. He has directed for providing free medical treatment to the injured in government hospitals.
CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami while expressing his deep sorrow over the tragic loss of precious lives and conveyed his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families.
Tarigami urged the government to provide free of cost medical treatment to the injured persons and ex-gratia to the families of deceased.
Voicing concern over growing road accidents in the state, Tarigami asked the government to come out with a report on action taken over recommendations of a House Committee headed by him that was constituted to prepare a comprehensive report on causes and measures to bring down the number of road mishaps in the state especially in erstwhile Doda District.
He said over six years have passed since the panel submitted its report, but the government is yet to come out with its action taken report on the recommendations.“This speaks volumes about the government’s indifferent attitude towards this serious issue”.
“The repeated road accidents in Doda, Kistwar, Ramban and Udhampur districts is a grave concern for all of us.