At least 11 students were killed and seven others injured when a Tempo they were travelling in crashed after plummeting around 500 feet down a gorge along the mountainous Mughal road in Shopian district Thursday afternoon.
The students of Kashish Computer Institute, a private centre, according to an official were on an excursion to Dobijan Shopian from Surankote area of district Poonch when the accident took place.
A police official said the Tempo carrying 16 students, a teacher and a driver, skidded off the road near Lal Gulam, some 32 kms from Shopian town, and careened down a deep gorge.
Eleven students died even before they could be evacuated to hospital while seven others including the driver of the ill-fated vehicle sustained grave injuries, the official said.
He said the injured were shifted to district hospital Shopian where from they were sent to SMHS Srinagar, given the serious nature of their injuries.
A health official identified the injured persons as Jameel Ahmad son of Abdul Raheem of Surankote, Soniya daughter of Mohammaf Rafiq of Faisalabad, Tazeem Akhtar daughter of Abdul Rasheed, Tabasum daughter of Bashir Ahmad, Aliya daughter of Mushtaq Ahmad of Surankote, Mehrun Nisa and Afsana Javid.
“We were on a picnic trip, travelling in two vehicles. As we reached near Lal Gulam, one of the vehicles carrying mostly the female students fell into the gorge and crashed down”, said a disturbed Waheed, who runs the institute.
Immediately after the accident, a police team rushed to the spot and launched a rescue operation, another police official said.
He said that the injured were rushed to hospital for treatment.
He identified the deceased as Tabasum daughter of M. Rafiq, Shreen Fatima daughter of Zaman Ahmad, Shabnum daughter of Hudayat Ahmad, Rabia daughter of Mukhtar Ahmad, Suhail son of Zubair Ahmad, Nayeema daughter of Riyaz Ahmad, Irfana Kousar, Humaira Kazmi, Rehmat, Jameel Ahmad and Najma.
This is the first accident along the traditional Mughal road which involved so many casualties, the official said.