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30 killed in Poonch bus accident
Rajouri, April 25
In yet another deadly accident in Poonch district, at least 30 persons, including four minors, were killed and 17 others were injured, eight of them critically, when an overloaded mini-bus skidded off the road and plunged into the Kalai river at Seri Chauhana today.This is the second such accident in Poonch district in less than 10 days.
One of the critically injured in the bus accident at Poonch being shifted to a hospital in Jammu after being airlifted on Wednesday.
One of the critically injured in the bus accident at Poonch being shifted to a hospital in Jammu after being airlifted on Wednesday. Tribune photo by Anand Sharma

3 drowned in Tawi
Jammu, April 25
It was a tragic culmination of a birthday party when three schoolchildren drowned in the Tawi here yesterday. The incident was reported to the police at night about seven hours after the boys had drowned.


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30 killed in Poonch bus accident
Tribune News Service

Rajouri, April 25
In yet another deadly accident in Poonch district, at least 30 persons, including four minors, were killed and 17 others were injured, eight of them critically, when an overloaded mini-bus skidded off the road and plunged into the Kalai river at Seri Chauhana today.

This is the second such accident in Poonch district in less than 10 days. On April 17, 16 persons were killed when a minibus met with an accident at Sawajian in the Mandi area of the district.

Officials said the minibus, bearing registration number JK 12-1097 and ferrying 47 passengers, was on its way from Poonch to Surankote.

They said the accident occurred when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and lost control of the vehicle, which fell into the Kalai river.

Eyewitnesses told TNS by phone that 15 bodies were fished out while an equal number of critically injured passengers died on way to the district hospital, Poonch, after they were rescued by locals and jawans of 27 Rashtriya Rifles (RR).

A defence spokesperson Col S.D. Goswami, said jawans of 27 RR of the Romeo force started the rescue operations. The Army is on the job. Locals are also assisting it in carrying out rescue operations, he said.

Rajouri-Poonch Range deputy inspector-general of police Muhammad Amin Anjum said the mishap occurred due to overloading and overspeeding of the vehicle.

I have sought a report from the SH0 concerned regarding his failure to check the practice of overloading in commercial vehicles. I appeal to people to avoid boarding vehicles beyond the seating capacity, Anjum said.

He said eight of the critically injured had been airlifted to Jammu for treatment.

Of the 30 dead, the police identified 19 as Vikas Sharma of Surankote, Azmat Bi and Rehmat Bi (both of Seri Chauhana); Muhammad Bashir of Surankote, Muhammad Rasheed, Fiaz Ahmed of Fazalabad, Mehmood Ahmed of Phagla, Khan Muhammad, Sunil Kumar and Kamla Devi (all of Surankote); Shakeel Ahmed of Nabna, Sakina Akhter of Fazlabad, Parveen Akhter of Khari, Gulrez Khan of Batta Dhurian, Asad Mehmood of Khari, Azad Ahmed of Surankote, Pallavi; and Ghulam Ahmed and Mazhar Ali Shah (both of Gursai). The police could not identify 11 of the deceased.

The critically injured who were airlifted to Jammu have been identified as Bag Hussain of Gursai, Muhammad Shakeel of ward No. 3 of Poonch town, Shahzad Ahmed of Seri Chauhana, Mushtaq Ahmed of Fazalabad, Changez Khan of Chandak, Fareeda Begum and Rasheeda Begum (both of Surankote) and Nissar Ahmed of Seri Khawaja.

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3 drowned in Tawi
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 25
It was a tragic culmination of a birthday party when three schoolchildren drowned in the Tawi here yesterday. The incident was reported to the police at night about seven hours after the boys had drowned.

Police personnel and men of the fire brigade scanned the secluded portion of the Tawi for more than 17 hours and had fished out two bodies till this afternoon. Search for the third boy was on at the time of filing the report.

Six boys of class XI in the Luthra Academy had gone to the riverside to celebrate the birthday of Chandrapal. After having snacks around noon, they started playing in the waters when three of them, Varun, Pankush Sharma and Yousuf, started drifting with the current and within no time got drowned.

Panic-stricken Chandrapal and his two other friends searched for the boys, but later abandoned the place and remained silent about the incident till 8 pm when one of them informed his parents about the tragedy. Thereafter, the matter was reported to the police which swung into action along with men of the fire brigade. However, search operation could not be undertaken as the area was pitch-dark. They launched the search early this morning.

Relatives and friends of the drowned boys wailed on the banks of the river as the search teams entered the deep waters. Abhimanayu, one of the participants in the birthday party, said initially he tried to save his friends, but was unable to enter the river as he did no t know swimming.

Several incidents of drowning in the Tawi have been reported in the recent past. Three students of the university were drowned a few months ago, while a boy lost his life when he fell into the river from the stairs of a temple near the bridge.

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