STATE TIMES NEWS
POONCH: Fourteen people, including four women and a minor, were killed and 17 others injured on Saturday when a 42-seater passenger bus skidded off a road and rolled down into a deep gorge in Poonch district, police said.
The accident occurred at Plera in Mandi area when the driver of the bus, coming from Loran to Poonch, lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a curve and rolled down into a 100-meter gorge, a police official said.
He said 14 people were killed while 17 others were injured in the accident.
Six persons were found dead on the spot and five more succumbed to injuries while being evacuated from the scene, the officer said, adding that two more succumbed to injuries at a local hospital.
He said condition of four of the injured persons was stated to be critical and are being airlifted to the Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu for specialised treatment.
The deceased have been identified as Ajaz Ahmed (32) resident of Sib; Afai Parveen (02) resident of Loyal Bella; Parveen Akhter (35) resident of Loyal Bella; Wali Mohd (72) resident of Barachar; Ghulam Hussain (52) resident of Chickri; Bashair Ahmed (38); Shariefa Bi (40); Nazia Akhter (17); Ghulam AKhter (21); Mohd Yusuf (26); Basir Ahmed (50); Abdul Rashid (45) all residents of Loran; Mohd Rashid (55) resident of Baraechar and Mohd Yasar resident of Loyal Bella.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief and anguish over the loss of precious lives in the tragic road accident.
In his message, the 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 the accident.
Advisor to Governor, BB Vyas has expressed grief and shock over the tragic road accident in Poonch District in which several precious lives were lost.
In a condolence message, the Advisor 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.
Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, has expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in a tragic road accident in Mandi area of Poonch district. Expressing concern over the fact that scores of people continue to lose their lives due to rash and negligent driving, Ganai, who also holds the charge of Transport Department, asked IGP Traffic to take immediate measures to prevent road accidents in future. He also passed instructions to crackdown on incidents of over-speeding, over-loading and lane cutting, as these have been found to be the principal reasons for frequent road accidents.
The Advisor directed Deputy Commissioner Poonch to immediately disburse relief as is admissible in such cases to the next of kin who lost their dear ones. He also expressed his heart-felt sympathies with the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) demanded an investigation into the frequent accidents in the mountainous belts.
A special team of officials should be constituted to check the condition of old vehicles on roads, especially in hilly and far-flung areas, the JKPCC said in a statement here.
It also demanded adequate compensation to the next of kin of the deceased and the injured.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed deep sorrow and anguish over the loss of lives in a tragic road accident in Plera area of Poonch District.
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 Pir Panchal 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.
Meanwhile General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Jammu Devender Singh Rana, YNC Provincial President Ajaz Jan, Senior Leaders Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, and Javaid Rana have also expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee mourned demise of 11 passengers who were killed in a Bus accident at Palera (Loran Mandi) in Poonch District.
President JKPCC Ghulam Ahmed Mir and other senior leaders have expressed great shock over the loss of lives in the bus accident and serious injuries to twenty others. They urged the concerned government agencies to provide immediate special medical help to the surviving passengers and also financial help to families of the deceased and the injured. They demanded adequate ex-gratia relief to the victims of the accident. They demanded in-depth investigation into causes of accident.
They also demanded that a special team of officials should be constituted to check the condition of old vehicles on roads specially in hilly and far-flung areas which is the major cause of accidents. Besides the condition of roads in the hilly terrain of Poonch, Rajouri and other such areas should be improved.
PCC Chief on behalf of rank and file of the party has expressed deep condolences and sympathies with the families of those who have lost lives in the bus tragedy and prayed for earlier recovery of injured.
Meanwhile, Senior PDP leader and former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has expressed deep shock and grief over the loss of lives in a Poonch accident.
Expressing serious concern over an alarming increase in road accidents especially in mountainous regions of the State, Bukhari urged the authorities to go tough against the traffic violators to contain such heart wrenching mishaps.
Former Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Shahnaz Ganai also expressed grief over the loss of lives in a tragic road mishap in Poonch district.
Ganai expressed solidarity with the bereaved families who lost their dear ones in the mishap and also prayed for giving courage to them to the bear this irreparable loss.
She further said that the health care facility in the State is weak, which needs to be strengthened in every aspect. “The district hospital in Poonch is facing acute shortage of men and machinery and there is a need to ensure adequate men and machinery in the hospitals across the State,” she said.
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