24 dead, 49 hurt as bus falls into gorge in Udhampur
Twenty-four people died and at least 49 others were injured when a bus they were travelling in rolled down into a deep gorge in Udhampur district of J&K on Monday. Five of the injured are said to be critical.
The passenger bus, which was on its way to Udhampur from Latti belt, skidded off the road and rolled down into the gorge in Maroti belt in the district, officials said.
The number of causalities is expected to increase, said Mohd Suleman Choudhary, SP-Udhampur, adding that 24 bodies have so far been recovered. The injured are being hospitalised and choppers have been requisitioned to airlift the critically injured people to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu from Mantalie belt of Udhampur.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and other leaders, across party lines, expressed grief over the loss of life in the road accident.
Soon after receiving the news, Modi sought details of the mishap, which were given to him by Union Minister of StateJitendra Singh, an official release said.
The Prime Minister expressed grief over the accident and issued instructions to provide necessary help was required to the victims. He also conveyed his condolence to the families of the deceased, it said.
“Disturbing news from J-K. Bus accident in Udhampur has saddened me. My thoughts are with families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured,” he tweeted. “I have asked my ministerial colleague Dr Jitendra Singh to stay in touch with authorities,” he said.
In a condolence message, Sayeed conveyed sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls, an official spokesman said. He said the chief minister wished speedy recovery to the injured passengers. Sayeed directed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, to ensure that best possible medical treatment is extended to the injured, the spokesman said. J&K Congress also expressed its shock and grief over the accident.