6 killed as car skids into deep gorge on snow-clad road in Kishtwar

Ill-fated vehicle lands into gorge after accident in Keshwan area of district Kishtwar on Thursday. — Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Ill-fated vehicle lands into gorge after accident in Keshwan area of district Kishtwar on Thursday. — Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Heavy rain, fresh snowfall lash J&K

Traffic disrupted on Jammu-Sgr NH

Gopal Sharma/
Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 3: Six persons including two brothers were killed when a car skidded off the snow-clad road in Keshwan area of Kishtwar amidst bad weather today while heavy rain and fresh snowfall continued across J&K since last night and frequent disruptions were witnessed on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to shooting stones and mud-slides in Ramban sector.

Click here to watch video
Official sources told the ‘Excelsior’ that six persons including two brothers, were killed after an Eeco car, skidded off the road and rolled down into a deep gorge due to bad weather and slippery road conditions near Keshwan in Kishtwar district today. He said the tragic mishap took place when the ill-fated vehicle, bearing registration number JK17-5089, was on its way to Keshwan from Kishtwar and the driver lost control over the car due to bad weather conditions and it rolled down into deep gorge near Keshwan, resulting into on the spot death of five persons and injuries to one.
The police party from Kishtwar rushed to the spot and joined locals in rescue operation. Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Ashok Sharma and SSP Shafkat Hussain Bhat also reached the spot after some time and supervised the whole operation. A local Army unit also assisted the civil administration in the operation.
The injured person was retrieved from the gorge and shifted to District Hospital, Kishtwar where doctors declared him as brought dead and with this, the death toll climbed to six.
The deceased persons were identified as Abdul Rahman and Atta Mohammad, both sons of Ghulam Ahmed Butt of Pandarna in Kishtwar, Mohammad Irfan, son of Ghulam Haider Sheikh from Nagrigarh, Abdul Latif, son of Sandoo Rather from Nagrigarh, Ghulam Hussain, son of Ghulam Mohammad Butt from Gamass and Zubair Ahmed, son of Atta Mohammad Hajam from Pandarna in district Kishtwar.
The locals said that it was raining and the area was also experiencing fresh snowfall when the mishap took place. The weather was unfair and road had turned slippery due to snowfall. The driver lost control and the vehicle landed into nearly 300 feet deep gorge.
MoS in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also Member Parliament from Udhampur-Doda- Kishtwar spoke to the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar and took stock of the situation. “All possible help–medical, financial and otherwise will be provided”, he tweeted.
Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha while expressing deep anguish over the loss of precious lives in an unfortunate road accident in Kishtwar due to bad weather expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, rain continued to lash entire northern region since last night while many hilly areas of Jammu region and parts of Kashmir valley have experienced fresh snowfall. The winter capital City Jammu witnessed continuous rain since early hours today. Many crossings and other low lying areas witnessed water logging, thus affecting normal movement of vehicular traffic.
Many hilly areas of Jammu including Trikuta hills of Mata Vaishnodevi, Patnitop, Nathatop, Sanasar, Bhaderwah, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Dudu-Basantgarh in Udhampur, Bani-Sarthal in Kathua, Budhal, Dera Gali and Mandi-Loran areas of Rajouri and Poonch received fresh snowfall today.
Reports said due to frequent mudslides and shooting stones at Seri, Mehar, Cafeteria Morh, Panthyal and Marog in Ramban sector, the movement of traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was disrupted during the day today. It continued raining during the day but the highway remained opened despite brief interruptions.
A MeT spokesman said that widespread light to moderate/snowfall over Jammu and Kashmir may occur at scattered places during next 24 hours. After two days there will be decrease in precipitation. On February 5, the weather may remain dry in Jammu and Kashmir while on February 6 and 7, there may be rain at isolated places across the region.
The winter capital Jammu witnessed sharp fall in day temperature and recorded 9 degrees below normal today. Jammu’s temperature was 11.5 degrees Celsius as compared to 16.3 degree Celsius on Wednesday.
Katra recorded a minimum temperature of 7.5 deg C and maximum 8.8 deg C today, Bhaderwah town a minimum 1.2 degree C, Batote 1.5 deg C while Banihal town recorded 2.0 degree C today.
Reports from Srinagar said several parts of Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall since last night even as night temperature rose today.
A Meteorological Department official said that Gulmarg had 8 inches of fresh snowfall today even as it recorded a low of minus 6.0 degree Celsius against minus 8.0 degree Celsius the previous night. The temperature of the place was 1.6 degree Celsius above normal for this time of the year.
It was raining in Srinagar for the whole day and it recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 1.9 degree Celsius.
Qazigund had one inch of snowfall today and recorded a low of minus 2.1 degree Celsius against minus 2.8 degree Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag recorded 2 inches of snowfall and had a low of minus 1.0 degree Celsius against 2.6 degree Celsius the previous night.
Pahalgam had 8 inches of snowfall while as it recorded a low of minus 1.7 degree Celsius against minus 6.1 degree Celsius the last night.
Kupwara town in North Kashmir had one inch of snowfall while as it recorded a low of 0.4 degree Celsius against minus 2.2 degree Celsius the previous night.
Lolab area of Sogam, Tarathpora Vilgam and Zachaldara Wader Satkojan recorded 3-4 inches of snowfall.
In Budgam district, Chrar-e-shareef has received 8 inches of snowfall, Nagbal Yusmarg 9 inches, Dadampore Surasyar 5 inches, Khansahib Raiyar 4 inches while Khag had 4 inches. Rafiabad and Hajibal areas of Baramulla had 4 inches of snowfall.
Leh recorded a low of minus 11.0 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 13.6 degree Celsius while mercury at Kargil settled at minus 14.6 degree Celsius. Drass recorded a low of minus 11.4 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 22.0 degree Celsius.
The Weatherman has forecast “erratic weather” with occasional snowfall at scattered places till February 8.
Fairly widespread to widespread light to moderate rain, snow is expected till tomorrow with main activity with possibility of isolated heavy rain and snow mainly in South Kashmir and Jammu region,” the MeT official said.
While the ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day long harshest period of winter ended on January 30, Kashmir is under the grip of the 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ which would be followed by 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha.’