Infant Among Four Killed In Kashmir Highway Accident

Rescuers at work at accident site.

Four Others Suffer Injuries

Ramban: Four people including two women and a two-year-old kid were killed in the wee hours of Wednesday when their vehicle skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge on the Kashmir highway, officials said.

The vehicle was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu with a group of labourers from Chhattisgarh when the accident occurred at around 5:30 am near Khuni Nallah in Ramban district, they said.

A rescue operation was immediately launched by the police and local volunteers.

Three people including two women were found dead while five others were taken to district hospital Ramban where two-year-old Aryan succumbed to injuries, the official added.

Three of the injured have been identified as Narayan Manji (21), Dinesh Kumar (19) and Maghe Lal (17), they said.

The Kashmir highway, officially known as the Srinagar-Jammu highway— the only major road link connecting Kashmir to rest of the world — has reported over 8,000 road accidents in the last ten years that caused nearly 1,800 fatalities, official data reveals.

The data compiled by the J&K Traffic Police Department reveals, the Srinagar-Jammu highway reported a total of 8,128 accidents between 2010 to 2020 that led to 1,750 deaths and 12,131 injuries.

The treacherous stretch from Banihal to Chanderkote in particular has been the most fatal witnessing 858 deaths as per the data.

Officials have attributed the highway accidents to the increasing volume of traffic on the highway and the rocky terrain of the road, saying it would take three to four years to “stabilise” the highway.

A traffic police official said that the vulnerability of the highway often leads to vehicles being stranded for a couple or more days, “which exhausts the drivers and they often meet accidents when sleep overtakes them.”

Experts believe that a lot of bad engineering and unnecessary barricades on the highway were causing majority of the accidents.

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