Thursday, June 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

20 die as bus falls into gorge
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 27
Twenty passengers were killed and 72 others injured, 10 of them seriously, when the bus in which they were travelling fell into a gorge near Khardungla today. Three of the injured are reported to be foreign tourists.

According to a message received from the Deputy Commissioner, Leh, the overloaded State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) bus, on its way from Nobra to Leh, fell 300 ft deep into a gorge at South Polo, 50 km from Leh, when the driver reportedly lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a curve on the Khardungla-Leh stretch.

Air Force helicopters were pressed into service for rescue and relief operations. Several injured passengers have been shifted to Sonam Narboo Hospital and Army Hospital, Leh, for treatment. Fiftythree injured persons have been admitted to Sonam Narboo Hospital and 19 to Army Hospital. Rescue operations had been completed by 3 pm, an official spokesman said here.

The acting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Ghulam Mohinuddin Shah, has expressed grief and sorrow over the tragic accident. He asked the authorities to provide best possible medical facilities and other assistance to the injured.

The Minister for Transport and Information, Mr Ajatshatru Singh, while expressing shock over the mishap, also called for necessary relief measure to prevent more casualties. He sought a report on the main cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned ex-gratia relief of Rs 25,000 each in favour of the kin of those killed in the accident.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, Mr Ashok Jaitly, said Rs 5,000 each had been sanctioned in favour of those injured in the accident.

JAMMU: Two passengers were killed and 15 others wounded when the bus in which they were travelling slipped into a nullah at Chowki Chora in Akhnoor sector today.

The police said Shoukat Ali from Mendhar died on the spot and Mehmood Khan succumbed to his injuries while being rushed to hospital. The injured, including an infant and three women, have been admitted to Government Medical College, Jammu, where most of them are said to be out of danger.

According to the police, the bus had left Poonch early this morning and was bound for Jammu when the accident took place near Chowk Chora, 42 km from here.


Gangsters kill 6 in Bihar village

Motihari, June 27
At least six persons were shot dead by gangsters at Manpur village under Govindganj police station area in East Champaran district of Bihar today.

Police Superintendent D.N. Gupta said here that the gang of Mahesh Mallah attacked the village and abducted nine persons last night. Six of the captives were shot dead this morning, while three managed to escape. UNI

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