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70 die as bus falls into Chenab
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 7
Around 70 persons were feared dead when a bus plunged into the turbulent Chenab in the Doda district this morning. The ill-fated bus was on its way to Jammu from the far-flung area of Paddar, adjoining the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

Only three passengers travelling in the overloaded bus have survived. They have been shifted to a hospital at Kishtwar following initial treatment at an Army camp near Paddar.

Doda DC Gulzar Ahmed Qureshi, however, said the exact number of casualties was not known so far as the bus was still lying in the river. The efforts by Army and police personnel to retrieve it had proved futile, he said.

Only two bodies (of Sri Chand and Meenu) have been recovered so far. The three injured, Meera Devi, Chuni Lal and Shiv Chand, were reportedly travelling on the rooftop of the vehicle and they jumped off before the bus rolled down.

This is the second major bus accident in the state during the year. Earlier, on January 21, 58 persons were killed near Rajouri.

The bus started from Paddar in the morning and met with the mishap at Shashoo after travelling around 18 km.

The police said a large number of people, including relatives of the missing passengers, reached the accident spot as soon as the news about the mishap spread. They were helplessly wailing and waiting for the bodies to be fished out.

Reports said the vehicle rolled down around 200 m into the river and only a part of its wreckage was visible from the road above.

Army, police and Central security forces personnel were trying to reach the wreckage, but the gushing ice-cold water had so far prevented them from doing so.

The Chenab is considered one of the most turbulent rivers in the world. A team of Army doctors has reached the spot. Divers of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) have also been rushed to the spot from the Dul-Hasti project in Kishtwar.

The police said the 42-seater bus got overloaded as passengers of another bus that had developed some snag en route also boarded it. 

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6 injured in bus blast

Jammu, April 7
Six persons were injured, three of them seriously, when an IED exploded in a passenger bus that was on its way to Reasi from here this evening. The police said the IED was concealed under the last seat and exploded when the bus was about 2 km short of Reasi in Udhampur district.

Among the injured was a woman. Two of the injured have been rushed to the medical college here while the others have been admitted to a hospital at Reasi. TNS

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