State Times News
RAMBAN/JAMMU: Seventeen Amarnath pilgrims were killed and around 29 injured, 19 of them critically, when a bus skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and rolled into a deep Nallah in the Ramban District on Sunday, officials said.
The deceased belonged to UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Assam, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, they said. Two women were among the sixteen who died, they added.
A bus carrying pilgrims skidded off the road, turned turtle, and rolled down into the Nullah at the Nachlana belt of Ramban late this afternoon, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ramban, Mohan Lal said.
The J&K State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) bus was part of a convoy carrying 3,603 pilgrims from Jammu to the twin base-camps of Baltal and Pahalgam enroute the cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas, police officials said.
According to the officials, 16 persons, including two women, were killed and around 27 were injured in the accident.
Nineteen injured pilgrims are being airlifted to Jammu for specialised treatment while eight have been admitted to the district hospital in Banihal, they said.
The dead persons were identified as Pawan Kumar, son of Dian Nath Parshad, resident of Bihar, Dalip Kumar, son of Dina Nath Parshad, resident of Bihar, Rohit Kumar, son of Shyam Parshad, resident of Patna, Bihar, Sagar Kumar, son of Pardeep Parshad, resident of Gandhipath, Bihar, Ram Karan Sharma, son of Gagan Sahai, resident of Konta Jaipur Rajasthan, Shalinder Singh, son of Balram Singh, resident of Berobin Rajasthan, Ravinder Singh, son of Raghubir Singh, resident of H No. 277 Indra Puri Modi Nagar Gaziabad UP, Ravinder Singh, son of Rajinder Singh, resident of H No. 375 Gali No. 01 Sherpur Dharamshala Modi Nagr Gaziabad UP, Rahul Kumar, son of Daleep Singh, resident of Golapur Datapur Cantt, Meena Devi, daughter of Zuhar Sahu resident of Tarigadan Chankyapur Gai No.18 Denapur Bihar, Sikander, son of Pritam resident of Shahpur Modi Nagar Gaziabad UP, Sheeshpal Saini, son of Ganpat Ram, resident of W. No. 12 Saini Nagar Nawal Garh, Darshan Singh, son of Chajju Ram, resident of H. No 11 ward No 12 Bishnah, Gogal Chand, son of Ghanisham, Rachet Sharma, son of H.L Sharma C7/2012 SDA Hauz Khas New Delhi, Chander Kumar PNR No. 55XFXJ and unidentified male age about 28 yrs.
The injured have been identified as Chand Pati Devi, 45, wife of Silla Matfi, resident of Denapore Sultanpure, Satesh Rawal, 32, son of Satpal, resident of Panipat Haryana, Depakar Dass, 25, son of late Bipinder Dass, resident of Asaam Ghwahati, Narish Dudeja, 39, son of Om Prekash, resident of Laerual Haryana, Sutvinder Tewari, 46, son of Radha Krishan, resident of Gawalyar MP, Vijay Kumar, 57, son of Sooraj Narayan, resident of Sarfa Bihar, Chetan Mishra, 35, son of Rajender Mishra, resident of Fariadabad Haryana, Devi Singh, 45, son of Durga Ram, resident of Shimla Himachal, Rajat Kumar, 27, son of Vijay Chouralia, resident of Bihar, Dheeraj Kumar, 35, son of Rajinder Kumar, resident of Ghaziabad, Surinder Singh, 25, son of Hari Singh, resident of Panipath Haryana, Dinesh Singh, 25, son of Bhawani Singh, resident of Rajasthan, Rachit Sharma, 27, son of M.L Sharma, resident of Delhi, Chander Prakash, son of Kamal Sharma, resident of Indoor, Baby Devi, 50, wife of Dinchen resident of Bihar, Rekha Devi,
60, wife of Sat Guru Sharma, resident of Patna Bihar, Giri Raj Tomal, 27, son of Suresh Singh, resident of Gwalior MP, Hari Om Sharma, 33, son of Sia Ram Sharma, resident of Bharatpur Rajasthan, Gori Shanker Sharma, 38, son of Fateh Shanker, resident of Bharatpur Rajasthan, Pankaj Khuswa, 33, son of Gajan Singh, resident of Gwalior MP, Vipal Loshi, 22, son of Dilip Loshi, resident of MP Indore, Ranjeet Kumar 27, son of Sukh Dev Chowdery, resident of Bihar, Ravinder Singh, 36, son of Raguveer Singh, resident of Modinagar UP, Shishupal, 35, son of Dhanpat, resident of Rajasthan and Gokup Chand Saini, 44, son of Ghan Sham Saini, resident of Rajasthan.
Police, Army and CRPF, with help from locals, launched rescue operations and brought out the bodies and the injured persons from the nullah, they said.
A team CRPF personnel deployed in Ramban immediately rushed to the accident site alongwith Doctor, Ambulance and Quick Action Team (QAT) and evacuated the Yatris and took them to the safer place.
The personnel of the force were also present at the evacuation spot in Jammu Airport from where injured Yatris were immediately rushed to GMCH, Jammu in the Civil as well as CRPF Ambulance.
CRPF expresses deep grief over the untimely death of the pious souls and prayed Almighty to give strength to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss and wish for the speedy recovery of injured pilgrims.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives of in the accident.
“Extremely pained by the loss of lives of Amarnath Yatris due to a bus accident in J&K. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” Modi tweeted.
“I pray that those injured in the bus accident in J&K recover soon,” the prime minister added.
Meanwhile, a 65-year-old pilgrim from Maharashtra died at the Baltal based camp of Amarnath Yatra in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, raising the death toll in the ongoing pilgrimage to 20, police said today.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and took stock of the situation following the death of 16 Amarnath pilgrims in a bus accident, officials said.
During the telephonic conversation, the chief minister apprised the home minister on the accident of the bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir and the ongoing rescue operation.
Mufti told Singh that the injured were being airlifted for treatment to Jammu.
The government has set up a helpline for inquiry about the Amarnath pilgrims travelling in the bus that met with the accident in Ramban. The helpline numbers are – 091-2560401, and 0191-2542000.
The home minister also had a telephonic conversation with the governor who has reached the accident site.
Vohra too apprised him of the situation, officials said.
“My heart goes out to the families of Amarnath Yatris who lost their loved ones in the bus accident. My prayers are with the injured,” the home minister tweeted.
The victims of the accident belonged to different states, officials said.
“Extremely saddened by loss of lives of devotees on their way to Darshan of the Holy shrine, Minister of State Prime Minister Office, Dr Jitendra Singh said. He asked District administration to provide all sorts of help to the injured.
Governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, immediately flew to Banihal along with Sh. B.B. Vyas, Chief Secretary; S.P Vaid, DGP and Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer of the Board, to see to the rescue operations being carried out by the District Administration Ramban with the help of Indian Air Force.
He met the doctors and enquired about the medical treatment given to the Yatris before they were airlifted in his presence.
Governor also visited the Banihal Sub-District Hospital where, after discussion with the Chief Secretary and the attending doctors, he directed that the bodies of the 16 dead pilgrims be transported to Jammu from where after embalming and other formalities the bodies would be sent by the civil airlines to the home towns of the dead.
Governor directed Chief Secretary to immediately ensure that no SRTC bus is deployed on long distance duty, particularly across the Banihal, which has not been thoroughly checked and certified fit for operation by a responsible ranking SRTC officer.
Appreciating the prompt relief provided by a local NGO, “Youth Against Evils, Banihal”, who rescued the injured pilgrims, in co-ordination with the district administration, Governor sanctioned an amount of Rs. 5 lakh for this NGO, for strengthening their humanitarian endeavours.
Governor expressed his deep grief over this unfortunate incident and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families of those killed in the incident.
On behalf of the Shrine Board he announced relief of Rs. 3 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the incident and; Rs.1 lakh each to those who had suffered injuries.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has expressed deep shock and immense grief over the death of Amarnath Yatris.
She has conveyed her heart-felt sympathies to the bereaved families in their hour of grief and has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls. She also wished speedy recovery to those injured in the accident.
The Chief Minister asked the Divisional administration Jammu and the District Administration Ramban to intensify the rescue operations at the spot and ensure best possible treatment to the injured Yatris. She has ordered immediate airlifting of the seriously injured pilgrims for treatment to save their lives.
The Chief Minister has directed the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to immediately release the ex gratia amount in favor of the next of kin of the deceased.
Mehbooba Mufti has also directed the Jammu Divisional administration to make arrangements for sending the bodies of the dead Yatris back to their homes immediately.
She hailed the locals of the area, the army, the security forces, police and the civil administration for rushing to the accident spot and launching the rescue operation to save as many lives possible.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, has expressed shock and grief over the deaths and conveyed his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls. He also wished speedy recovery to those injured in the accident.
The Deputy Chief Minister has asked the administration to reach out to the injured and provide them the best possible medicare.
Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta has expressed deep grief over the road accident and conveyed his heartfelt sympathies to the families of deceased Yatris and prayed for peace to the departed souls.
National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana also expressed shock and deep grief over the death of several Amarnath pilgrims in a tragic road mishap.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those who have lost their dear ones in the unfortunate accident”, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said in a statement while expressing shock and deep grief over the death of several Amarnath pilgrims in a tragic road mishap.
He expressed solidarity with the bereaved families, prayed for strength to them to bear irreparable loss. He also prayed for peace to the departed souls.
While wishing speedy recovery to those injured in the accident, Rana sought their specialized treatment on government expenses.
Senior Vice President, J and K PCC and former Minister, Sham Lal Sharma expressed deep shock and sorrow over the road accident.
In his condolence message, Sham Lal conveyed his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families in this hour of grief of those who lost their dear ones in this accident.
He also urged government to provide adequate ex-gratia relief to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident and free of cost medical facility to the injured people.
Later, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh this evening visited SKIMS Soura to enquire about the health of Yatris injured in a tragic bus accident near Ramsoo on Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Minister for Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat, Minister for Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari and Minister of State for Health, Aseia Naqash visited SKIMS to enquire about the condition of injured Yatris.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmed Lone and other concerned senior officers also accompanied the Ministers to SKIMS.
The ministers asked directed hospital administration to extend best-possible treatment to those injured in the accident and provide specialized treatment to those injured seriously.The minister assured all possible support to the injured from the State Government.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary visited Government Medical College Hospital Jammu to enquire about the health of Amarnath Yatris.
The minister interacted with the doctors treating the injured to know about their condition and line of treatment. He directed the doctors of to provide best-possible treatment for their early recovery.