Seven passengers, among them two women, died when two vehicles they were travelling in were hit by a landslide on Monday on Batote-Doda-Kishtwar highway at Kuligad in Kishtwar district. At least twelve other passengers were wounded by the falling debris from a hill.
A mini-bus and a Maruti car were travelling towards Kishtwar from Udhampur when boulders rolling down from a hill fell on them. The bus and the car were carrying 19 passengers, most of whom were from Udhampur and Bhadarwah. The police said the passengers were perhaps pilgrims and were on their way to participate in the annual MachailYatra.
Dy. SP traffic NH1B Zuhaib Hassan said villagers who rushed to the spot saw dead bodies and the injured passengers lying inside the mangled remains of the vehicle. "They somehow managed to open the driver's cabin door and the rear part of the bus to pull out the bodies and the injured. The mini bus driver had lost control over the vehicle after a huge boulder hit the wind screen," he said.
"All the injured were taken to trauma hospital Thathri were doctors declared 6 of them as brought dead. Later, 7 injured were shifted to District Hospital Doda and 6 were shifted to District Hospital Kishtwar," the officer said.
The deceased have been identified as Amar Nath, KewalKumar , his wife Ashkanta Devi and 3 dead bodies are still unidentified. The injured have been identified Kalyan Singh(40), SubashChander (45), his wife Reeta Devi(35), MohdHussain(40), Maan Singh (23), Rahim Ali (50), Sudesh Kumar (38), Sunil Kumar (25), Kaku Ram (55),Deepak (40), Dev Raj(55), Vasu (9), Raj Kumar (28).
Guv, Abdullahs expresses grief
Governor NN Vohra has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families. He has wished speedy recovery to those injured in the accident. He asked deputy commissionerKishtwar to provide best medical treatment to the injured.
President National Conference Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah also expressed grief over death of bus passengers due to landslide in Kishtwar.
In a statement, both the leaders have asked governor administration to order evacuation of injured to teritiary care hospital.