BANIHAL / JAMMU At least 20 people were killed and 16 injured on Saturday when an overcrowded minibus fell into a deep gorge on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Ramban district.
Among the dead were four women and the driver. Ten critically injured passengers were airlifted from the accident site to Army hospital at Udhampur and two others to Jammu, officials said
The vehicle was on its way to Ramban town from Banihal when the accident occurred at around 9.55 am. The driver lost control over the “overcrowded” vehicle which rolled down the 200-ft-deep gorge at Kela Morh near Maroof, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range, Rafiq-ul-Hassan, told PTI.
Local volunteers launched a rescue operation soon after the accident and were shortly joined by the quick reaction teams of police and Army, officials said.
Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Showkat Aijaz and Senior Superintendent of Police Anita Sharma reached the site to supervise the rescue operation and subsequently requisitioned choppers to airlift the critically injured persons.
A total of six sorties were made by Army’s Chetah and Cheetak helicopters, a private airliner and a state helicopter.
“The critically injured persons were airlifted to Army hospital at Udhampur and Government Medical College hospital Jammu for specialized treatment,” the DIG said and praised the rescuers for reaching the accident victims “in the shortest possible time”, thus saving many lives.
The road accident took place around 11:10 am today when a minibus (JK19-1593) carrying passengers from Banihal to Ramban over turned near Kayla mode along the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway here before plunging into a 500ft deep gorge.
One Cheetah, one Chetak and one Pawan Hans helicopter besides the state chopper have been pressed into service to airlift the injured. Six sorties were undertaken to shift the injured to hospital, sources said.
The deceased have been identified as Mashqoor Ahmed Giri S/o Late Mohd Ayoub Giri R/o Bankoot Banihal, Mohd Shafi Rather S/o Gh Hussan Rather R/o Doligam Banihal, Sunil Singh S/o Rattan Singh R/o Digdool Ramban, Mohd Irfaan S/o Mohd Suliman R/o Panthyal Ramban, Manzoor Ahmed S/o Amdullah Bhat R/o Senabathi Gugrara Ukheral, Nayeem Ahmed S/o Mohd Yaseen Ganie R/o Maligam Ukheral, Rukshanda D/o Mohd Rafiq Wani R/o Chanjloo Banihal ,Farheen D/o Mohd Rafiq Wani R/o Chanjloo Banihal ,Rayaz Ahmed Khan S/o Ab Rasheed Khan R/o Tethar Banihal, Mohd Iqbal shah S/o Noor Din Shah R/o Chakka Rajgarh, Mohd Ramzan Wani S/o Momjau Wani R/o Doligam Banihal, Mustaq Ahmed Ganie S/o Mohd Ramzan Ganie R/o Doligam Balihal, Rashma D/o Ismail Gouger R/o Amkoot Banihal , Tanveer Ahmed Baigh S/o Mohd Afzal Baigh R/o Kaskoot Banihal, Kajal Devi D/o Tarith Singh R/o Marog Ramban, Ramtullah Rather S/o Ab Gani Rather R/o Tantarypora Banihal (Driver), Mudasir Ahmed Mir S/o Ab Jabber Mir R/o Bankoot Banihal, Mohd Yousef Kumar S/o Amdullah Kumar R/o Darshipor, Utkaranth Mangotra S/o Surash Mangotra R/o Udhampur and Unidentified Male
The injured include Abdul Quyoom S/O Mohd Sultan R/o Dhardhei Ramsoo, Daman Deep S/o Ashok Singh R/o Marog, Majid Ahmed S/o. Abdul Rashid R/o. Alinbas (Conductor), Shabir Ahmed Beig S/o Ahmed Beigh R/o Lamber Banihal, Showket Hussain S/o Manzoor Hussain R/o Samba, Jaffer Ali S/o Abdul Ali R/o Danar Nowgam Banihal, Abdul Ahad S/O unknown R/o Zenihal Banihal, Mohd Shareef S/o Shams Din R/o Wagan Chamalwass, Mohd Ismail S/o Nizam Din R/o Chamalwass, Rabia D/o Mohd Rafi R/o Sonwari, Mohd Iqbal S/o Fateh Mohd R/o Khari, Bashir Ahmed S/o Mehroom Mir Ali R/o Chamalwass, Rajesh Kumar S/o Harbans Lal R/o Ramsoo, Raees Ahmed Tantary S/o Ghulam Rassol Tantary R/o Banigam, Mohd Rafiq S/o Habibulllah R/o Chanjloo Banihal and two Unknown persons.
Rs 5 Lakh Ex-Gratia For NoK
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the loss of lives in a road accident in the Ramban district when a minibus carrying passengers fell into a gorge.
In his message Governor has 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 directed the District administration Ramban to provide best possible health care to those injured in government hospitals.
Governor has announced ex-gratia relief of Rs. 5 lakh for the next of the kin of those dead and Rs. 50,000 for those injured in the accident.
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