5 killed, many injured in Poonch bus accident

Guv, Vyas, Abdullahs’, Mehbooba, Geelani condole deaths

5 killed, many injured in Poonch bus accident

Jammu: At least 15 passengers were killed and dozens injured when the rashly driven bus in which they were travelling in the Poonch district plunged skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Plera in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district in the early hours of Saturday. Governor Satya Pal Malik, Advisor to Governor B B Vyas, former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani have expressed their shock and grief over the killing of passengers in the deadly road accident.
Police said that the bus was bearing registration number JK02W0445 as per unofficial reports and yet to be confirmed. Reports from the site said that locals helped the officials and rescue workers in retrieving the bodies and the injured from the wreckage of the bus which lay near a river.
The cause of the accident was yet to be ascertained. However, initial reports stated that the driver lost control of the vehicle while he was trying to negotiate a bend on the road. It is suspected that the driver was overspeeding and lost control while turning the bus on a tight bend.
The number of casualties is expected to rise as police officials reportedly said that some of the injured were in a critical condition.
Nine critically injured have been flown to the Medical College Hospital at Jammu for advanced treatment.
Reports say that the bus was overloaded and was being driven rashly when it plunged about 100 metres and ripped into two pieces.
Governor Satyapal Malik has announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each killed and Rs 50,000 to each injured. In his message, Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. He has wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
In a condolence message, the Advisor to Governor B B Vyas while expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, prayed for peace to departed souls and strength to the members of their families in bearing the irreparable loss.
Expressing shock and grief over the deaths of passengers National Conference President and three time former Chief Minister Dr Farooq described the loss of lives as unfortunate and tragic. “Its alarming how such accidents have become a routine now in the state. I convey my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those killed in the accident,” he said adding, “The causes of the fateful accident should be ascertained. The incumbent government needs to devise a strategy to reduce these tragedies,” he said.
Vice president Omar Abdullah, while expressing concern over the recurrence of such fatal accidents in the Chenab valley and Pirpanchal areas said, “The incumbent administration should do an appraisal of the factors concerning passenger safety in the areas as are mostly hilly. It is heart wrenching to hear about such deadly incidents happening time and again. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the grieved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who are injured,” he said.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani expressed his deep condolence with the families of all those 12 persons killed after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at Mandi Poonch. The Hurriyat leader also consoled the injured people in the same accident.
Praying for their heavenly abode and bestowal of forbearance to their near and dear ones, the Hurriyat leader expressed his anguish on the criminal negligence committed by the occupation authorities for the disproportionate development of the whole Chenab valley.
Hurriyat Chairman condemned the discrimination adopted by the authorities, towards the Chenab region on the ground, that the said area might not have any military significance, so the highway running through this mountainous region have been left in the lurch to become open graves for the passengers of this area.
“Statistics regarding the accidents swallowing passengers on these dilapidated roads and highways present a dismal picture as compared to other militarily important roads running through the sky-high mountains,” said Geelani in a statement.

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