35 Killed As Minibus Plunges into Kishtwar Gorge


SRINAGAR — A 45-day-old baby, a six-year-old boy, four teenagers and 11 persons aged between 20-30 years were among 35 people killed and sixteen others were injured when a 28-seater minibus, packed with double of this number, overturned and rolled down a steep gorge in mountainous Kishtwar district on Monday morning.    

Official said that the minibus (JK17-6787) on way to Kishtwar from Keshwan overturned near Sirgwari and fell into 1000 meters deep gorge at around 7:45 a.m.

28 people died on the spot and seven others succumbed to their injuries, three of them before being taken to hospital while four others soon after they were admitted in the health facility. Of the eighteen injured persons, 11 of them were airlifted to GMC Jammu. Among dead include fourteen women.

Officials identified the deceased as Akthar Hussain (29) his wife Ruksana Begum (25), their 45-day baby boy of Keshwan, Bal Krishan (45) his wife Binota Devi (40) of Keshwan, Amjad Mir (22) son of Abdul Latif Mir of Keshwan, Ghulam Mohammad Butt (50) son of Ahmadoo Butt of Nagarna Keshwan, Begma Begum (28) wife of Usman Khanday of Nagarna, Deepak Kumar (18) son of Naib Chand of Pakalan Thakrie, Tahira Begum (27) wife of Late Irshad Ahmad of Nagarna, Noor Din Chouhan (27) son of KammaGujjar of Jugna Keshwan, Shazia Bano (19) daughter of Late Akthar Hussain of Nagrna Keshwan, Taja Begum (65) wife of Ghulam Hassan Mir of Banderna Kishtwar, Saja Begum (65) wife of Abdullah Wani of Nagarna, Nahida Bano (20) daughter of Bashir Ahmad Mir of Gamas Keshwan, Wasim Raja (18) son of Abdul Samad of Nagrana Keshwan, Bibi Begum (65) wife of Mohd Jamal of Jugna Keshwan her son Noor Din (25)son of Mohd Jamal of Jugna Keshwan,  Zaitoona Bano(21) daughter of Shafi Ahmad of Keshna, Keshwan, Hajira Begum (36) wife of Bashir Ahmad of Saraz Doda, Permeela Devi (30) wife of Nek Ram of Anjole Kishtwar, Haqnawaz Butt (25) son of Ghulam Mohammad Butt of Keshwan, Tariq Hussain Rather (30) son of Ghulam Mohd Rather of Nagni Garh, Abdul Hamid Rather (40) son of Wali Mohd Rather of Keshwan, Masoom Ali son of Mohd Shafi of Bresmena Premnagar, Sajan Sharma (18) son of Rakesh Kumar of Keshwan, Junaid Sheikh son of Javaid Sheikh of Keshwan, Aqib Hussain (6) son of Akthar Hussain Butt of Keshwan, Ashwani Kumar son of Late Jia Lal of Keshna Keshwan, Bashir Ahmad son of Qasimdin Gujjar of Jugna Keshwan, Nawaza Begum wife of Javid Ahmad Sheikh of Keshwan, Rakesh Kumar (39) son of Dina Nath of Pakalan (driver), Gulabi Begum (45) wife of Kher Din of Keshwan, Asiya Tabasum daughter of Mohammad Usman of Nagarna and Bashir Ahmad (25) son of Ghulam Hassan of Keshwan.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended in entire Kishtwar when the bodies of the deceased mostly of Keshwan area reached their respective homes for last rites.

On June 27, nine girls were among 11 students of a private computer training institute died after their mini bus fell into a gorge in Pir Ki Gali area of the Mughal Road that connects the Rajouri-Poonch districts in the Jammu division with Shopian.

Following this accident, authorities in Poonch district have banned all excursions by educational institutions unless specifically allowed by the district administration. 

PM, HM Grieved, Guv Announces Ex-Gratia 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, governor Satya Pal Malik besides state’s politicians expressed grief and sorrow over the death of the 35 people and injuries to 16 others in the Kishtwar minibus accident on Monday. 

“The accident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar is heart-wrenching. We mourn all those who lost their lives and express condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Home Minister Amit Shah also condoled the deaths and tweeted:  Extremely saddened to learn about the loss of lives due to a road accident in Kishtwar, Jammu & Kashmir. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones. I pray of the speedy recovery of those injured.”

Governor Satyapal Malik also expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of those killed. He also directed the administration to provide best medical treatment to the injured. Governor Malik, in the press statement, said that all the reasons behind the accident will be investigated. “All the reasons for such incidents will be probed thoroughly and strong decisions will be taken in the next SAC meeting to ensure strict action against those responsible for such avoidable incidents”. Governor had directed officers of the Transport Department to take away unfit vehicles and untrained drivers off the road, it added. Advisors to governor also expressed grief over the loss of lives.

National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah on Monday expressed deep grief over the death of 35 passengers in a tragic road accident at Keshwan in Kishtwar District.

“My heart goes to all those who have lost their dear ones in the accident,” Farooq Abdullah said in a message and wished early recovery to the injured, according to a statement issued here.

In a separate message, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed grief over the deaths and prayed for early recovery of the injured. Mehbooba Mufti, chief of Peoples Democratic Party also expressed grief over the accident. 

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