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70 feared dead as bus swept away in Rajouri flash flood
Shyam Sood

Raipur (Nowshera), Sept 4
Seventy members of a marriage party were feared dead after the bus in which they were travelling was swept away in a flash flood in Nowshera tehsil of Rajouri district today.

Sources said the bus, which was on its way from Bhata village to Lam, overturned after it got stuck on a bridge over the raging Gambhir river near Salli Trar village around 11.45 am. The bridge already had water overflowing parts of it when the tragedy occurred.

Eyewitnesses said passengers were trapped in the bus as it submerged in the water following torrential rain upstream.

Havildar Madan Singh (retd), one of the survivors, said four members of his family, including sons Gurvinder and Karan, daughter Jasvinder and wife Ritu Kour, were missing.

He said around 70 persons, including children and women, were in the bus. He swam to safety after being thrown out of the window.

Madan’s two brothers along with their families were also travelling in the bus. They have been identified as Bahadur Singh, his sons Manmeet and Sunny and wife Nitu, Anter Singh, his wife Amrit Kour and sons Sahib Singh and Rinku.

Heavy rain and raging waters prevented an Army team from carrying out rescue operations.

“We can pull the bus out with iron ropes, but it will damage the vehicle. The bodies may get washed away into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which is a few kilometres downstream,” said an Army officer who was on the spot with his team.

Deputy Commissioner Jatinder Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police Mubassir Latifi arrived at the scene four hours after the tragedy as they struggled to cross swollen rivulets on the way. Sources said the bus had covered barely 2 km when the mishap took place. It remained stuck around 12 feet under water.





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