16 AMARNATH YATRIS KILLED IN ACCIDENT
Truck Ferrying Pilgrims Falls Into Gorge Near Samba
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, July 27: Sixteen Amarnath pilgrims, mostly from Delhi and UP, were killed and as many injured when a truck ferrying them skidded off the road and plunged into a gorge in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The mishap, which took place at Zamoorha Morh in Mansar belt, 50 kilometres from Jammu city, at 2330 hours last night when the driver was trying to negotiate a curve, is the second major accident involving pilgrims to the holy cave shrine within a fortnight.
Of the 16 dead, six each belonged to Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, three from MP and one from Kolkata. They were members of Delhi-based Shiv Shakti Community Kitchen Association, police said today.
"The truck, which was carrying pilgrim volunteers engaged in a community kitchen at Amarnath, was returning when it skidded off the road and rolled down the gorge," District Development Commissioner (DDC), Samba, Mubarak Singh told PTI.
While nine pilgrims died on the spot, three died in Samba Hospital and two died in Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu, he said.
Police, Army and BSF teams rushed to the spot and launched a rescue operation under search lights with the help of locals.
They shifted 16 injured, including the driver, first to Samba District hospital and later to the Government Medical College (GMC) in Jammu. Two other pilgrims who sustained minor injuries were discharged after first-aid.
All the bodies have been shifted from Samba district hospital to GMC and have been identified.
The dead have been identified as Durgan, Raj Kumar, Sokhi, Gajinder Singh, Rajinder, Hari Narayan (all from UP), Gungung, Rakesh, Amit, Kuldeep, Vijay , Deepak (all from Delhi), Harinder, Shanker, Sunil Singh (all from MP), and Sona from Kolkata.
The injured have been identified as Rajesh, Ganshaam, Raj Bal (all from UP), Hari Mohan, Maharaj, Soni, Bishan Lal, Ravi, Deepak, Vikas (all from Delhi), Boby from Kolkata, Balbir Singh (driver) and Sunil of Samba district.
This is the second major accident involving Amarnath Yatris in Jammu region this month
On July 14, fifteen pilgrims were killed when a SRTC bus bringing pilgrims back from the Yatra, had rolled down a gorge near Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Lakhs of pilgrims perform the annual Amarnath pilgrimage at the Himalayan cave shrine, situated at height of 13,500 feet, which has natural ice stalagmite believed to be an icon of Lord Shiva.
Last year, 107 pilgrims died performing the pilgrimage either at base camp or during the trek mostly because of cardiac arrest. This year, the toll of those who have died, excluding those killed in accidents, is close to 100.
The pilgrimage began June 25 and will conclude Aug 2, the full moon day of the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar. The number of pilgrims this year has so far reached 600,000.
(WITH INPUTS FROM PTI/IANS)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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