12 dead, 29 injured as mini-bus plunges into gorge in Poonch

LG visits injured in Distt Hospital; announces Rs 5 lakh each for NoKs of deceased, 1 lakh for seriously injured

Prez, VP, Modi, Chugh express grief; Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to each NoK from PM’s Relief Fund


Jammu: Twelve people, including four women, died and 29 more were injured when an overcrowded mini-bus plunged into a deep gorge in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Wednesday, officials said here.
The bus was on its way to Poonch from Gali Maidan when it met with the accident near Brari Nallah in the border belt of Sawjian around 8.30 am, they said.
The officials said a joint rescue operation by the Army, police, and local villagers was immediately launched.

Ill-fated vehicle Challaned 6 times earlier this year

POONCH: The vehicle which met with an accident in Poonch on Wednesday leaving 11 dead and 29 injured, has been Challaned six times this year.
As per the details of Challans issued by the Challaning officer of the Traffic Rural Jammu, Sub-Division Rajouri-Poonch, vehicle (JK12A-1419) was Challaned by SO (T) Loran-Mandi Challan number 187933 on March 8, 2022 through driver Farooq Ahmed, son of Abdul Majid having driver license 62741/Poonch under offence 39/192; SO (T) Loran-Mandi vide Chalan number JK6567022042 0101435 on April 20, 2022 under offence 194 (A); SO (T) Poonch- Challan Number 503662 on April 30, 2022 to Drv. Farooq Ahmed under offence 39/192; DTI Poonch vide Challan Number 727234 on May 24, 2022 under offence 20 (1)/177; DTI Poonch vide Challan number 728437 on June 7, 2022 under offence 39/192 and SO (T) Loran-Mandi vide Challan number 568012 on September 3, 2022 to driver Shabir Ahmed, son of Abdul Hamid having driving licnese 00779/Poonch under offence 194 (A).
Moreover, five times the driver was Farooq Ahmed, son of Abdul Majid D/L No. 62741 issuing authority ARTO Poonch and one time driver was Shabir Ahmed, son of Abdul Hamid D/L No. 00779 issuing authority ARTO Poonch. Farooq Ahmed, son of Abdul Majid D/L No. 62741 is actual owner of the said vehicle.
As, per FIR No. 113/2022 registered on September 14,2022 under sections 279/337/304 (A) IPC Police Station Mandi, the erring driver was unknown, but as per reliable sources the driver was Shabir Ahmed, confirmation is awaited.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and several leaders from the Valley expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.
The officials said nine passengers were found dead on the spot, while two more succumbed to injuries at a hospital.
The condition of nine of the 29 injured is critical, and six of them were airlifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment, they said.
The bus rolled down more than 250 feet into the gorge and hit the hard ground strewn with boulders, the officials said, adding that the vehicle, also carrying students headed for schools, was completely damaged.
Ten of the deceased have been identified as Bashir Ahmad Lone (40), his daughter Nazima Akhter (20), Shaida Akhter (32), Razia Akhter (18), Zarina Begum (40), Mahroof Ahmad (14), Mohd Hussain (65), Imran Ahmad (6), Abdul Kareen (70) and Abdul Qayoom (40). Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for the kin of the deceased.
“Saddened by loss of lives due to a road accident in Sawjian, Poonch. Condolences to bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rs 5 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the deceased. Directed police and civil authorities to provide best possible treatment to the injured,” he tweeted.
Sinha also visited the district hospital in Jammu to enquire about the health of those injured and announced Rs one lakh aid for seriously injured victims.
“Visited District Hospital, Poonch to enquire about health of civilians who were injured in tragic road accident today. Met the relatives & doctors treating injured. 6 seriously injured have been airlifted to Jammu for treatment. Rs 1 Lakh would be given to those seriously injured,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, a group of people staged a protest against the district administration over its failure to check frequent road accidents and put in place a well-equipped trauma centre.
“We have to shift critically injured accident victims to Jammu, as a result of which many of them lost their lives,” a protester claimed.
Prime Minister Modi also announced financial aid of Rs two lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
“The loss of lives due to an accident in Poonch is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured,” he said in a tweet on the Twitter handle of the PMO.
President Murmu said, “The loss of lives in a tragic road accident in Sawjian, Poonch is deeply distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery of the injured.”
Dhankhar tweeted: “Pained to learn about the loss of lives in a bus accident in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “I am deeply pained to learn about this heart wrenching road accident in which more than a dozen precious lives were lost. I offer my condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National General Secretary Tarun Chugh expressed gried and sorrow over the accident.
“Very sad news was received of many casualties after a bus fell into a gorge in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. May God place the departed at his feet and grant speedy recovery to the injured,” Tarun Chugh wrote in his tweeter.
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said, “Very sorry to hear about the tragic loss of lives in a bus accident in Poonch. May the souls of the departed rest in peace & may the injured make a swift recovery.”
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock over the accident. “Deepest condolences to the grieving families & prayers for the injured,” she tweeted.
JKPCC Working President Raman Bhalla also expressed deep condolences with families of all those 12 persons, who lost their lives after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at Sawjian Nallah in Poonch district. He also consoled the injured people and wished them an early recovery.
State President of J&K National Panthers Party, Vilakshan Singh has also expressed grief over tragic accident that took place in Poonch, in which a number of precious lives were lost while several others received serious injuries.

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