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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jul 16, 2017, 3:02 PM; last updated: Jul 17, 2017, 1:03 PM (IST)

16 Amarnath pilgrims die in mishap

Bus, carrying 46 pilgrims, rolls down a gorge in Banihal; PM announces compensation
Amit Khajuria & RK Kichloo  
Tribune News Service

Jammu/Banihal, July 16

At least 16 Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 29 injured when a bus rolled down a gorge at Nachlana in Banihal area of Ramban district this afternoon. The ill-fated State Road Transport Corporation bus (JK02Y-0594) was part of a 143-vehicle convoy that left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu.

 
The bus was carrying 46 pilgrims. Ten pilgrims died on the spot and six succumbed to their injuries while being taken to the Sub-District Hospital, Banihal. Eighteen of the seriously injured were airlifted to Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, while 11 were admitted to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital and Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Kashmir. Two pilgrims, who jumped out, escaped unhurt, said SD Jamwal,  IGP, Jammu. “One of the tyres burst. The driver lost control and the bus fell into a gorge,” he added.

Governor NN Vohra reached Banihal to supervise rescue operations. Accompanied by police chief SP Vaid, he visited the injured at the Banihal hospital. 

Lending a helping hand, Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF personnel shifted the injured to the Banihal hospital. They were later joined by the local police. The deceased have been indentified as Shesh Pal, Dheeraj Kumar and Ravinder Singh from Ghaziabad, Ranjeet Kumar, Chanpati Devi, and Rekha Devi, Vijay Chaurasia and Ranjit Kumar from Bihar, Danish Kumar, Gauri Shankar and Hari Om Sharma from Rajasthan, Ganesh Dass and Vijay Dhar from Assam, Chetan Misra from Haryana and Vipul Joshi from MP. 

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With the Jammu-Srinagar highway blocked at Seri, Marog, Panthial and Khooni Nullah owing to landslides caused by heavy rain, the convoy was earlier stranded on the highway for hours. 

Mehbooba Mufti, CM, has expressed sympathies with the families of the deceased.  

The PM has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation has ordered a probe.

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