11 killed, 30 injured as bus rolls down near Ramnagar

Wreckage of bus lying on the spot at Keya near Ramnagar on Friday. -Excelsior/ K Kumar
Wreckage of bus lying on the spot at Keya near Ramnagar on Friday. -Excelsior/ K Kumar

Guv for review of Road Safety Action Plan

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Jan 15: A minor among 10 passengers and driver were killed while 30 others got injured, eight of them critically, when a 41 seater bus rolled down at Keya, near Ramnagar in Udhampur district, this morning.
The ill-fated passenger bus, bearing Registration number JK14C-7786, was on its way from Ramnagar to Basantgarh when it rolled down into a 400 feet deep gorge around 10.20 a.m. “The driver could not negotiate a curve on the narrow road with no parapet on the stretch with the result that he lost control over the vehicle, which was moving with a speed of around 40 kms/hour, thus resulting into the accident,” one of the injured passengers told the Excelsior.
Nine persons died on the spot while the driver and another passenger succumbed to their injuries on way to the hospital. All the injured were rushed to Sub-District Hospital Ramnagar from where the critically wounded were airlifted to Government Medical College Hospital Jammu while others were referred to District Hospital Udhampur.
The District administration along with Police and locals rushed to the spot and immediately launched rescue and relief operations. DIG Udhampur-Reasi, Surinder Gupta, SSP Suleiman Choudhary, ADC Angrez Singh Rana, CMO, SDM, SDPO and other officers coordinated the rescue and relief arrangements at the spot of accident and arranged shifting of injured to hospital. Former Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh along with former MoS Sunil Sharma and MLA Doda Shakti Parihar, who had gone to Ramnagar for a BJP rally today, also rushed to the spot along with MLA Ramanagr R S Pathania after canceling the event and provided their vehicles for shifting the injured to hospital.
Nine critically injured were airlifted from Ramnagar to Jammu for treatment at GMC Hospital Jammu where one of them succumbed to his injuries. He was identified as Artish Kumar, son of Dhani Ram of Joffer. Driver of the bus, namely Mohinder Kumar (30), son of Rattan Lal of Kirmu, also died while being shifted to Ramnagar hospital.
Others, who died on the spot, were identified as Sunita Kumari (40) wife of Daleep Singh of Blota- Chigla, Sadhu Ram (70) son of Sunder of Keya, Om Parkash (25), son of Jagdish Chand of Rasli-Gader, Ashok Kumar (45), son of Govind Ram of Udhampur, Des Raj (48), son of Munshi Ram of Keya, Hukum Chand (35), son of Jodh Mal of Basantgarh, Neelam Kumari (22) wife of Amit Gupta of Basantgarh, Sudesh Kumar (38), son of Kundi Ram of Dehari and Radhu Devi (3 yrs), daughter of Gandhi of Udhampur.
Eight ambulances and an equal number of rescue vans from Basantgarh, Ramnagar and Udhampur were pressed into action. Due to steep slope and difficult terrain, it was a tough job to evacuate the injured, who were first shifted to SDH Ramnagar.
On the direction of State Government, the District Administration Udhampur provided an immediate relief of Rs one lakh each to next of kin of deceased, Rs 25000 to critically injured and Rs 10,000 each to other injured. A total amount of Rs 13.50 lakh was provided.
Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh has also announced relief of Rs 6 lakh for victims of the accident while Governor N N Vohra asked the Chief Secretary to urgently review the status of implementation of Road Safety Action Plan.
Further, a magisterial enquiry has also been ordered to be conducted into the incident to ascertain exact cause of accident since the 2013-make bus was in roadworthy condition and the site was claimed to be not accident prone. Addl DC Angrez Singh Rana has been deputed as Magistrate for enquiry by DC Udhampur.
Those undergoing treatment at GMC Hospital Jammu, were identified as Sham Parsad (26 yrs), son of Om Dutt of Chatrari, Balbir Singh (14), son of Tara Chand of Balota, Bimla Devi (30), wife of Bittu Ram of Latti Dhuna, Sunita Kumari (35) wife of Kewal of Kadwa, Ashok Kumar (27), son of Khinu Ram of Laddana, Sudesh Singh (46), son of Anant Ram of Balota, Sudershana Devi (43), wife of Yog Raj of Chatrari and Amit Kumar (32), son of Madan Lal of Basantgarh.
Identity of the other injured, admitted in DH Udhampur and SDH Ramnagar, was established as; Arshad Hussain (26), son of Rukam Din of B’garh, Duni Chand(71) son of Punnu of Chatrari, Narinder Singh (12) son of Swarn Singh of Panara, Mohan Lal (27) son of Suraj Parkash of Prey, Yashpaul (18) son of Hem Raj of Rasli Gaderan,
Jaitun Begum (27) wife of Abdul Rashid of Lodra, Rakesh Singh (24) son of Hukum Singh of Kogarmarh, Khem Raj(12) son of Duni Chand of Chatrari, Chhatto (67) son of Mania of Laddana, Gul Mohammad (45) son of Akbar of Sang, Seema wife of Gandhi of Udhampur, Rekha Devi (34) wife of Kirpal of Joffer, Hans Raj (35) son of Chandu of Incha, Reva (30) wife of Artish Kumar of Joffer, Mohd Rafiq (26) son of Saraj Din of Joffer, Rangesh Singh (21) son of Kirpal Singh of Joffer, Subhash Chander (22) son of Prem Singh of Joffer, Jeevan Kumar (22), son of Suram Chand of Laddana, Sunita Devi (40) wife of Ashwani Kumar of Chaddai, Guddi Devi (27) wife of Kuldeep Kumar of Lehar, Meenakshi (20) wife of Sushil Kumar of Ramnagar and Balban Singh (19), son of Suram Chand of Basantgarh.
Governor N N Vohra has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and conveyed his sympathies to the members of the bereaved families. He also wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
According to the Raj Bhavan spokesperson, the Governor has called for sustained efforts to substantially bring down the incidence of fatal road accidents in the State. He expressed serious concern about the urgent need to devote systemic attention to this vital problem and directed the Chief Secretary to urgently review the status of implementation of Road safety Action Plan.
It may be recalled that the Governor had fixed a clear timeframe for the implementation of Road Safety Action Plan in Jammu and Kashmir in a high level meeting held in the Civil Secretariat on February 14, 2015, during the period of Governor’s Rule before installation of the PDP-BJP Government.
The Governor directed that all the concerned enforcement agencies should sternly deal with all cases of overloading and other traffic violations and no unfit vehicle should be allowed to ply on the roads under any circumstances. He particularly urged the DGP and IGP Traffic to enforce stringent measures to check overloading of transport vehicles, check over speeding and carry out a complete verification of all those who drive buses and trucks on the accident prone roads to particularly assess whether they are trained to ply vehicles in hilly areas.
Member of Parliament and MoS in PMO, Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has announced Rs 6 lakh relief for victims of the bus accident. Immediately after hearing about the unfortunate incident, Dr Jitendra Singh, spoke to Deputy Commissioner Udhampur Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and enquired about the incident besides assessing the relief measures being taken up by the district administration.
The Union Minister asked the DC to ensure that the injured get best diagnostic and treatment facilities for their early recovery.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of J&K, has also expressed profound sorrow and grief on the loss of precious lives in the road accident. Conveying his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, Azad also expressed solidarity with those injured in the hapless accident and prayed for their speedy and full recovery.
National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah have also expressed grief and shock over the Ramnagar accident
In separate messages, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah conveyed their condolences to the bereaved families, prayed for peace to departed souls and wished speedy recovery to those injured in the tragic accident.
Provincial president NC Jammu, Devender Singh Rana has also expressed grief and shock over the tragic accident.