The injured were evacuated to the government hospital in Doda. Those in critical condition were airlifted to a Jammu hospital. SRINAGAR: Thirty-eight people, including the driver, were killed when a passenger bus skidded off the road and rolled down into a 300-foot gorge in the mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir around 11.50 am on Wednesday.
Rescue workers search for survivors in the mangled remains of the bus which fell 300 feet into a gorge | PTI Besides the dead, about 20 others were injured, six of them critical, officials said, indicating the toll could go up. The local administration, along with the police and Army, is carrying out rescue operations. The injured were evacuated to the government hospital in Doda. Those in critical condition were airlifted to a Jammu hospital. Most of the bodies have been identified. The bus carrying 58, including the driver, may have been overloaded because of which it skidded off the road and rolled down into the gorge, a police official said. Officials said the cause of the accident is being ascertained. “We have checked all the things about the vehicle, its insurance and service life. The driver is also dead so there might be a chance that the vehicle was not being driven properly and this might have led to the traffic accident,” Deputy Commissioner Doda Harvinder Singh said.
Top civil, police and security officials visited the accident spot and were overseeing the rescue operation. This is probably the biggest accident in Doda in the last few years. On July 1, 2019, 35 people were killed and 17 injured when an overloaded mini-bus veered off the road and fell into a gorge in Kishtwar’s Sangwari area. On September 14, 2018, 17 passengers were killed and 16 injured when a mini-bus skidded off the road and plunged into a gorge in the Dandaran area of Kishtwar. On May 24 this year, seven people were killed and three others injured after a cruiser vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge at the Dangduru dam site in the Dachan area of Kishwar. (With inputs from PTI) (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)