12 killed, 13 injured as mini bus falls into gorge in Doda

12 killed, 13 injured as mini bus falls into gorge in Doda
Officials said that when it (mini-bus) reached near Soi-Gwari, 6 kms ahead of Pul Doda, the driver reportedly lost control over the steering and the mini-bus fell downhill along the banks of Chenab river.Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Bhaderwah: 12 persons were killed and 13 others were seriously injured after a minibus they were travelling in, fell into a deep gorge on Batote-Kishtwar highway in Doda district on Thursday morning.

The ill-fated mini bus, bearing registration number JK-17 4021 was on its way from Thathri to Doda. Officials said that when it (mini-bus) reached near Soi-Gwari, 6 kms ahead of Pul Doda, the driver reportedly lost control over the steering and the mini-bus fell downhill along the banks of Chenab river.

Locals, the police and the army, joined by SDRF and other volunteers, immediately rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation. They shifted all the injured to the Associate Hospital GMC Doda, where doctors declared ten of them as brought dead.

Superintendent Associate Hospital GMC Doda Dr Yudhvir Singh, when contacted, said, “We received a total of 25 persons here; out of whom 10 were brought dead. Later one of the injured also succumbed to his injuries, thus taking the death toll to 11.”

The deceased were identified as Ghulam Hussain Shah, 60, son of Maqbool Shah; his son Shabbir Ahmed, 30, residents of Bharote Mohalla; Rhitik Sharma, 19, son of Lekh Raj, resident of Jhateli; Jammal Din, 23, son of Lal Din, resident of Bakhana Mohalla; Mohammed Latief, 65, son of Mohammed Ramzan, resident of Bharoa Bhaderwah; Annari Devi, 55, wife of Swami Raj, resident of Sisol Bharshalla; Bahadur Singh, 65, son of Hari Singh, resident of Shirdhani Bhalla.

The identity of two deceased persons, who according to Superintendent GMC Doda Dr Yudhvir Kotwal were brought dead, could not be ascertained.

Santosh Kumar, 22, son of Somnath and Rajesh Kumar, 24, son of Bhodi Singh, resident of Parnote of Mohalla died in hospital.

Meanwhile, seven out of the fourteen injured were airlifted to Jammu. They were identified as Ramesh Kumar (27), Monika Devi (24), Santhosha Devi (22), Babur (25), Pervaiz Ahmed (32) and Poonam Devi (22).

Those who were undergoing treatment at GMC Doda included Sanjay Kumar (18), N Akhtar (45), Rohit Sharma (21), Neetu Devi(17), Vikram Singh (22), Ashok Sharma (22), Arif Hussain(21) and Savita Devi (45).

Meanwhile, PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand, in an official statement, said that following a disastrous bus accident in Doda district, a request was received by IAF from Divisional Commissioner Jammu for air evacuation of critically injured from Doda stadium to Jammu airfield.

“IAF MI 17 helicopter from Jammu captained by Sqn Ldr Ganeshprasad Honakuppe got airborne at 1220 hours within a short notice of one hour and evacuated 7 critical accident victims from Doda and landed at 1410h. Six lying and one sitting casualties were then transferred to GMC by ambulances,” he said.

Late this evening, Monika Devi too succumbed to her injuries at GMC hospital, Jammu, thus taking the death toll in the accident to 12.

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