21 die as 'over-crowded' bus plunges into gorge
Among the dead were four women and the driver
Twenty-one persons were killed and 15 injured when an overcrowded mini-bus fell into a 200-ft-deep gorge on Saturday after its driver lost control over the vehicle on Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district, officials said.
Among the dead were four women and the driver. Ten critically injured passengers were airlifted from the accident site to the Army hospital in Udhampur and two others to Jammu, they said.
The vehicle was on its way to Ramban town from Banihal when the accident happened around 9.55 am. The driver lost control over the "overcrowded" vehicle, which rolled down the gorge at Kela Morh near Maroof, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range, Rafiq-ul-Hassan, said.
The officials said 15 persons died on the spot, while six others succumbed to injuries at different hospitals, including one at the Army hospital, where he was admitted after being airlifted from the accident site. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and leaders of various political parties expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident. Malik announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured, the officials said.
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