35 killed, 17 injured as bus falls in gorge in Kishtwar

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Kishtwar  :   At least 35 passengers were killed, leaving 17 injured on Monday morning when a minibus fell into a deep gorge along Keshwan-Thakrai road in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, police officials said. The mini bus, according to initial reports, appeared to be carrying excess passengers.

After receiving information about the mishap, Police, SDRF, Volunteers of Ababeel and Red Cross society along with locals rushed to the spot and started a rescue operation. Later, Army also joined the rescue operation.

All passengers were shifted to District Hospital Kishtwar, where doctors declared 23 as brought dead while 12 more succumbed to their injuries, taking toll to 35 as the last reports came in.

An official said that 52 passengers were on board when the mishap took place. Three critically injured were airlifted to GMC Jammu for further treatment.

Meanwhile, on the call of Traders union Kishtwar, all schools and business establishments in Kishtwar closed as a mark of condolence and against overloading.

When contacted, DDC Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana said, “I’m on the spot to supervise the rescue operation, the road stretch where fatal accident took place is completely okay. According to preliminary investigation, It seems to be the negligence of driver and perhaps due to overcrowded passengers resulted in the accident.”

“We have already airlifted 3 seriously injured to GMC Jammu in Pavan Hans chopper, now we are waiting for the army helicopter to shift 7 other injured to GMC,” officer added.

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