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J&K: 37 Killed, 19 Injured as Passenger Bus Falls in 300-ft Gorge in Doda

Anees Zargar |
Over 600 persons have died in over 4,150 accidents across the Union territory, of which nearly 140 have been reported in Doda district alone.
Rescue operation underway after a bus carrying passengers fell into a gorge, in Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

Rescue operation underway after a bus carrying passengers fell into a gorge, in Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. Image Courtesy: PTI

Srinagar: At least 37 passengers were killed and 19 others were injured after a bus carrying them fell into a gorge in Doda highway in Jammu on Wednesday, officials said.

The bus, carrying 55 passengers, including locals from Doda and Kishtwar areas, was on the way to Jammu before it fell into a 300- feet deep gorge following which the administration rushed to rescue the injured. As many as four passengers are said to be critical who were shifted on an air ambulance for treatment at Government Medical College, Jammu, according to a senior administrative official. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while expressing condolences to the families of the victims of the accident announced an ex-gratia relief for them.

“The bus accident in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir is distressing. My condolences to the families who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. An ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured,” the Prime Minister’s official handle announced on X.

The local political leadership, including former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, expressed shock at the incident whilst calling for measures to be taken for victims’ relief and the overall safety of the commuters.

According to Jammu and Kashmir Traffic Police, over 600 persons have died in over 4,150 accidents across the Union territory of which nearly 140 have been reported in Doda district. The number of persons killed in the district have crossed 50 something that the party leaders have pointed out in the aftermath of Wednesday’s mishap.

“Deeply saddened to hear of this tragic accident that has claimed 36 precious lives. Sadly for all the talk of progress and development we are not able to stop the steady stream of accidents, often with an unacceptably high death toll. My heart goes out to the families of those who have died and prayers for those injured,” Vice-president of National Conference Omar Abdullah wrote on X.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also lashed out at the authorities for failing to take measures for road safety.

“This Doda district has become a death trap and such accidents have become a norm. It was debated by the Legislative Assembly and a House Committee was constituted to submit recommendations. The recommendations submitted were not implemented by the administration,” Tarigami said.

The leader added that merely expressing grief over the incident was not enough as he urged the authorities to get the area studied by experts for effective measures so that more lives are not put at stake.

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