PM condoles loss of lives; Advisor Vyas visits hospital, directs specialised treatment of injured
At least 17 people were killed and 16 others injured, some of them critically, in a road accident near Thakrai area in the mountainous Kishtwar district on Friday.
An official said that a mini-bus bearing registration number JK17-0663, which was overloaded with passengers, skidded off the road after the driver lost control over it and plunged into a 300-foot deep gorge in Dandaran near Thakrai, early in the morning.
As soon as news of the accident spread, local residents, volunteers from non-governmental organisation Ababeel, Red Cross, police and the army rushed to the spot and started a rescue operation.
A total of 17 persons died in the accident while 16 others were injured, news agency PTI quoted the district development commissioner Angrez Singh Rana as saying.
He said that the deceased included three women and the driver of the ill-fated vehicle, Ashraf Hussain.
The deceased have been identified as Umar, Jabar, Qasim, Misra Begum, Nazir Ahmed Rather, Nazir Shah, Muhammad Yousuf Rather, Tariq Hussain and Majida Begum (all residents of Sirgwari in Thakrie), Nasir of Chatroo, Shaheena Begum of Sarawan, Ashraf Hussain of Pakalan, Vikram of Thakrie, Girdhari Lal of Murna Anjole, Akhtar Hussian and Ghulam Muhammad of Keshwan. Later, another passenger Ashok Kumar succumbed to his injuries at government medical college and hospital, Jammu (GMC&H). 10 injured persons were receiving advanced treatment at the hospital when the last reports came in late on Friday evening, an official said.
The injured were identified as Irfan, Baby Aisha, Waseem Raja, Yousuf, Sajda Begum, Muhammad Ismail, Lal Singh, Mukhta Begum, Abdur Rashid, Abdullah Sheikh, Sakeena, Mudassir, Kuldeep Singh, Azhar Hussain, Tariq Hussain, Fareena and Ashok Kumar (who later succumbed).
Among the injured, 11 were referred to GMC&H Jammu, while six were shifted to district hospital Kishtwar where they are said to be “stable.”
Interestingly , Hussain was fined by the traffic police department for overloading on Thursday, officials said.
The district development commissioner said that most of the victims died on the spot. “The next of the kin of the deceased will be given an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh each, while Rs 50,000 will be given to each of the injured persons,” he said, lauding the army, police and locals for their “swift” action in initiating the rescue operation.
Officials said the bus was carrying over 30 passengers.
A Jammu-based army spokesman lieutenant colonel Devender Anand said the Indian Air Force had pressed a MI-V5 chopper into service and airlifted eight critically injured victims from Kishtwar to Jammu. Three other injured were evacuated by a Pawan Hans chopper, Rana said.
This is the third major accident in Kishtwar district in the last one month. While 13 Machail yatra devotees were killed when their cab plunged into a gorge on August 21, seven persons were killed and 12 others injured when two vehicles were hit by boulders a day earlier.
VYAS VISITS JAMMU HOSPITAL
Advisor to governor, BB Vyas, expressed deep shock over the loss of precious lives in the Kishtwar road accident.
An official spokesman said that Vyas visited government medical college and hospital Jammu to enquire about the health condition of those injured in the accident and also assessed the treatment being given to them. He was accompanied by divisional commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma, inspector general of police Jammu SD Singh Jamwal, deputy commissioner Jammu Ramesh Kumar, principal of the college and other senior officers of the administration.
“After due evaluation of the condition of injured, the advisor conveyed the directions of the governor to provide necessary medical assistance free of cost to all the injured. He also directed the divisional and district authorities to depute volunteers to be attached with each of injured patients to facilitate their proper treatment,” the spokesman said.
The advisor said that the government would take every possible measure to ensure that requisite relief and ex-gratia is provided to kin of those who have lost their lives in the accident. (With inputs from PTI)