Bus Crash Kills 11, Injures 29 In Poonch

Rescue operation after a passenger bus fell into a gorge near Bareri Nallah in Poonch district, Wednesday. | Photo Credit: PTI

President Murmu, PM Modi Express Grief Over Loss Of Lives

Jammu- Eleven people, including four women, died and 29 more were injured when an overcrowded mini-bus plunged into a deep gorge in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Wednesday, officials said here.

The bus was on its way to Poonch from Gali Maidan when it met with the accident near Brari Nallah in the border belt of Sawjian around 8.30 am, they said.

The officials said a joint rescue operation by the Army, police, and local villagers was immediately launched.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and several leaders from the Valley expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.

The officials said nine passengers were found dead on the spot, while two more succumbed to injuries at a hospital.

The condition of nine of the 29 injured is critical, and six of them were airlifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment, they said.

The bus rolled down more than 250 feet into the gorge and hit the hard ground strewn with boulders, the officials said, adding that the vehicle, also carrying students headed for schools, was completely damaged.

Ten of the deceased have been identified as Bashir Ahmad Lone (40), his daughter Nazima Akhter (20), Shaida Akhter (32), Razia Akhter (18), Zarina Begum (40), Mahroof Ahmad (14), Mohammad Hussain (65), Imran Ahmad (6), Abdul Kareen (70) and Abdul Qayoom (40).

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for the kin of the deceased.

Meanwhile, a group of people staged a protest against the district administration over its failure to check frequent road accidents and put in place a well-equipped trauma centre.

“We have to shift critically injured accident victims to Jammu, as a result of which many of them lost their lives,” a protester claimed.

Prime Minister Modi also announced financial aid of Rs two lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

“The loss of lives due to an accident in Poonch is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured,” he said in a tweet on the Twitter handle of the PMO.

President Murmu said, “The loss of lives in a tragic road accident in Sawjian, Poonch is deeply distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery of the injured.”

Dhankhar tweeted: “Pained to learn about the loss of lives in a bus accident in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said, “Very sorry to hear about the tragic loss of lives in a bus accident in Poonch. May the souls of the departed rest in peace & may the injured make a swift recovery.”

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock over the accident. “Deepest condolences to the grieving families & prayers for the injured,” she tweeted.

LG Announces Rs 5L Ex-Gratia For Victims Kin

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Wednesday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the people who lost their lives in a road accident here on Wednesday morning.

Sinha also visited District Hospital, Poonch to enquire about the health of civilians who were injured in a tragic road accident at Sawjian, an official spokesperson said. The LG, he said, also met the relatives and doctors treating the injured.

The LG, he said, announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each for the Next of Kin of those who lost their lives and Rs. 1 lakh for those who have been seriously injured in the accident.

According to the spokesperson, the LG expressed grief over the loss of lives in the unfortunate accident and directed the Police and Civil authorities to provide best possible treatment to the injured.

“Saddened by the loss of lives due to a road accident in Sawjian, Poonch. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Sinha said.

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