4 die, 26 hurt as over speeding bus skids into gorge in Rajouri

People rescue passengers as bus falls into gorge near Bhimber Gali in Rajouri on Thursday. -Excelsior/Gafoor Bhat
People rescue passengers as bus falls into gorge near Bhimber Gali in Rajouri on Thursday. -Excelsior/Gafoor Bhat

15 precious lives lost in twin districts in 2 days
7 injured in Kotranka road accident

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Sept 15: Four persons including driver were killed and at least 26 others injured, some of them seriously, when a passenger bus rolled down into a gorge near Bhimber Gali (BG) in Manjakote area of district Rajouri today.
This is the second tragic road accident in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in last two days, in which 15 precious lives have been lost.
Official sources said that mishap took place at around 12.15 pm today when the Jammu-Poonch route bus, bearing registration No. JK02CD/ 9156 was on way to Jammu from Poonch. The vehicle was climbing down the mountainous slope of Bhimber Gali (BG) Pass and had covered hardly 4 kms distance from BG towards Rajouri.
When the ill-fated bus reached near Deri Ralyote village, the driver lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a sharp curve (U-turn) and it rolled down into nearly 150 feet deep gorge. Four persons including bus driver, hailing from Nowshera were killed on the spot.
Immediately after the incident, the local villagers were the first who rushed to the site. The movement of vehicles on the busy Jammu-Poonch highway was stalled at this point and many passengers of other vehicles also moved down the slope for the rescue of the accident victims.
A police party from Majakote led by SDPO Shamsher Singh and SHO reached the spot with some policemen along with one ambulance from PHC Manjakote. The Army jawans from nearby BG Unit also reached there. A Medical team from SDH Mendhar along with Ambulance led by BMO, Dr Parvez Ahmed Khan also arrived there and joined rescue operation at the site.
Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Vikas Kundal, who along with SSP, Mohd Aslam also arrived at the spot to personally supervise the rescue operation, said that four persons including bus driver hailing from Nowshera were killed on the spot. The DC said earlier five casualties were reported but the doctors managed to revive a critical patient while being shifting to hospital.
Kundal said officially only four deaths have been reported as per inputs provided by District Health authorities. About 26 persons were injured and the cause of accident was being ascertained by the police authorities which have registered a case in this connection. He, however, said as per preliminary inputs provided by the locals, the bus was over speeding and driver failed to control vehicle while negotiating a U-turn. He disclosed that driver was also among the dead.
The eye-witnesses said that the vehicle was over speeding and seen overtaking several vehicles on this sloppy mountainous road. Liaqat Ahmed, hailing from Mendhar, who was among the injured passengers, said he came to BG from Mendhar in a Tata Sumo and boarded this Jammu bound bus.
” The driver appeared like flying an aircraft and not driving a bus. I was frightened and prayed God several times for my safety and other passengers. Even one of the passengers sitting in the front, asked driver to move in limited speed. While negotiating a U-turn, the negligent driver could not control his speeding vehicle and in a fraction of seconds, it rolled down into a deep gorge breaking side parapet,” an injured Liaqat told Excelsior.
The police, Army and locals of the area shifted the injured to Manjakote hospital. Some of them were provided first-aid at nearby Army’s Medical facility at BG. The seriously injured were rushed to Govt Medical College Hospital, Rajouri. SDPO Manjakote, Shamsher Singh was also seen evacuating a 2-3 year-old injured child to the road from the gorge. This kid was provided immediate first- aid at Army Medical Centre, BG.
Those killed in the mishap were identified as- Mohd Jehangir Khan (37), son of Mohd Riaz Khan, resident of Dharati in Mendhar; Nazia Tabasum (24), daughter of Mohd Hanief, resident of Dabrote in Manjakote; driver Harshdev Choudhary (25) from Chowkian in Nowshera and Rawaiz Iqbal (22), son of Mohd Iqbal, resident of Draba in Surankote.
Those injured have been identified as Aftaj (30), son of Mohd Ashraf from Surankote; Mohd Sajjad (23), son of Haqnawaz from Panjgrian; Nazir Shah (50), son of Ali Akbar from Samote in Surankote; Tasveer Begum (50), wife of Mohd Riaz Khan from Dharati in Mendhar; Maqsood Ahmed (24), son of Mohd Khursheed from Marhote in Surankote; Afraz Ahmed (17), son of Niaz Ahmed Manhas from Fazlabad in Surankote: Mohd Shakoor (44), son of Mohd Sadeeq from Dodassan Bala; Shamshir Ahmed (65), son of Mohd Bashir from Bathian; Zabaida Begum (55), wife of Niaz Ahmed from Fazlabad in Surankote; Mohd Sharief (50), son of Mohd Shafi from Deri Ralyote; Nazir Ahmed (64), son of Mohd Wazir from Marhote in Surankote; Naheed Akhter, wife of Aurangzeb from Dhar Galoon in Mendhar; Mohd Sageer (17), son of Mohd Rashid Khan from Fazlabad Surankote; Ishfaq Ahmed, son of Haqnawaz from Thandapani in Manjakote; Zensha (2 yrs), daughter of Aurangzeb from Dhargloon in Mendhar; Shamim Akhter, daughter of Mohd Akram from Kottan in Mendhar; Mohd Akram, resident of Kottan; Mia Mohd, son of Hamida from Fagla Surankote; Mohd Tariq, son of Mehdi Hussain from Muradabad in UP; Mohd Rashid Khan, son of Alyas Khan from Fagla in Surankote; Sharoon Mir, son of Mohd Sadeeq from Kotan in Mendhar; Niaz Ahmed (50), son of Mohd Shabir from Fazlabad; Azira Begum (45), wife of Mohd Riaz; Shahbaz Ahmed (20), son of Niaz Ahmed from Fazlabad; Mohd Afzal (30), son of Mohd Sharief from Surankote and Zoya Shah (12 months), daughter of Aurangzeb Shah from Dhargloon in Mendhar.
Out of these 26 injured, three were referred to GMC Jammu, Medical Superintendent GMC Rajouri Dr Mehmood Bajar said.
Meanwhile, at least seven persons including four of a family, were injured when an Eeco vehicle bearing registration No. JK11F- 4374 which was on its way from Rajouri to Kotranka, met with accident at Mandir Gala.
The injured were shifted to CHC Kotranka where doctors provided preliminary treatment and referred four of them to GMC Rajouri. The police has taken cognizance of the matter.
The injured were identified as-Basharat Ahmed, son of Gulab Din; Guddi Begum , wife of Basharat and his daughter Mehreen Kouser; Sayeeda Tabassum, wife of Bashir Ahmed, Dilshad Ahmed, son of Manzoor Ahmed, Gulnaz Akhtar, daughter of Manzoor Ahmed and Suleman, son of Mubarak Hussain, residents of Kandi area.