M A I N   N E W S

25 die as bus falls into ravine
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 18
As many as 25 persons were killed and 26 injured when a passenger bus on its way to Srinagar from here plunged into a ravine near Ramban on the Jammu-Srinagar highway early this morning.

The condition of eight of the injured, who were flown to the medical college hospital here for treatment in an Army helicopter, was described as critical. Among the seriously injured were two soldiers, Mohammad Aslam and Panjab Singh. Fifteen other injured were shifted by road here for treatment.

While 15 persons died on the spot as the ill-fated bus rolled down about 500 feet into the ravine, eight succumbed to their injuries while being shifted to various hospitals.

The bodies of three killed were recovered from the debris of the bus that was removed by Army personnel with a crane. Among the killed was the driver of the bus, Ghulam Nabi, who was challaned for rash driving by the police on June 15.

Reports said the bus had fallen so deep that it was not possible to rescue the injured without a crane. The bodies were also lifted with the help of a crane.

The bus (JK02-P-5325) left for Srinagar from here at 8.30 last evening and halted en route for the night. It met with the accident at about 5.30 this morning when the highway was declared open for vehicular traffic by the road opening party of the Army that thoroughly checks the roads in the morning every day to clear the landmines that might have been planted by terrorists.

Most of the killed were labourers belonging to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, who were being taken to Srinagar by contractors for working on various projects.

The reports said that the Army personnel deployed on the highway for the security of the Amarnath pilgrims swung into action immediately after seeing the bus rolling down. They informed the nearest Army detachments about the accident and the rescue operations were launched immediately.

The Army authorities immediately moved in a number of jawans and vehicles for relief and rescue operations and to carry the injured to the nearby hospitals.

The mishap occurred at a place 7 km short of Ramban. The driver apparently lost control over the vehicle that plunged into the ravine.

The police was finding it difficult to identify the killed as the injured were not in a position to give any statement.

Ten of the killed have been identified as Murshal Alam, Khurshid Alam (both brothers), Anjum Sadiqi, Majroon Shah, Mukhtiar, Abrar, Mohammad Qazim, Nausar Alam (all from Nepal) and Abbas Ansari (Bihar).


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