25 feared dead in Kishtwar accident
Kishtwar, July 23: More than two dozen persons were feared dead when a passenger vehicle skidded off the road and fell into river Chenab near here Friday evening.
Police said the ill-fated minibus (JK06-774) was on its way from Thatri to Kishtwar when it met with the accident near Wadra Bridge on Batote-Kishtwar Highway (NH1-B) at around 6 PM.
Eyewitnesses said the vehicle fell into Chenab and disappeared in the fast current of the river, which was already flowing above normal level due to recent rains across the region.
The dam gates of Dul Hasti project were not opened but were to be opened Friday midnight. NHPC announced that it wouldn’t open the dam gates today so as to enable the police to search bodies.
Three passengers, they said, managed to jump out of the vehicle and were the only survivors, till the last report came in. “The only trace of the mishap at the spot was the blood mark on some of the boulders on the river bank”, they said adding, “There was completely no trace of the vehicle, which is feared to have been washed away by the water current.”
Police and locals were also clueless about the exact loss of the life, however, officials said that around 25 persons are feared dead. One of the injured passengers, Kuldeep Kumar son of Sewa Ram, has told the police that the minibus was completely loaded with passengers when it met with the accident.
One of the injured was noticed lying unconscious on the roadside by a passing vehicle. The passenger traveling in the vehicle went into the gorge and found two more persons in injured condition.
Police and locals rushed to the spot as soon as the injured passengers reached District Hospital Kishtwar. A massive search and rescue operation was launched but all in vain. “There is no trace of even the vehicle at the accident spot”, a police officer told Greater Kashmir from the spot. He said that only a few identity cards were recovered from the river bank and preliminary investigation suggest that around 25 persons are feared dead.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Governor NN Vohra have expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the tragic accident.
The Chief Minister directed the administration to immediately rush to the spot and promptly carry out rescue and relief operation.
The Governor expressed his sympathy with the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.
Member Legislative Assembly from Kishtwar, Sajad Ahmed Kitchloo has also expressed sorrow over the loss of lives. He demanded immediate rescue and relief operation so as to save the lives of the people.
August 5, 2008: Kandni-Phagumarh area 25
February 17, 2009 Gundoh 10
February 14, 2009 Drabshalla 5
February 25, 2009 Bhaderwah Glagindhar 39
May 5, 2009 Bhandarkot Kishtwar 32
June 7, 2009 Doda 26
September 9, 2009 Assar 26
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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