6 persons including 2 minor sisters killed, 4 injured after van falls into gorge

Mingled remains of the van which fell into gorge in Doda on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary
Mingled remains of the van which fell into gorge in Doda on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary

Yet another gruesome accident on notorious Doda roads

*Dr Jitendra, Sinha express grief

Sanjeev K Sharma

DODA/JAMMU, Apr 13: In yet another gruesome road accident on notorious roads of hilly Doda district, six persons including two minor sisters have lost their lives and four others were injured, some critical, when the van they were on board skidded off the road and landed into deep gorge during the evening hours of Saturday.

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The ill fated van of Eeco make bearing registration number JK06A-3089 was on its way to Kathawa from Thathri when it plunged into a deep gorge at Khanpura in Phagsoo area.
Sources informed that 10 persons were travelling in the van which met with accident
Immediately after the accident, locals with the help of police started a rescue operation and shifted the injured persons to Sub-District Hospital Thathri where doctors declared five of the injured as brought dead.
Mukhtiyar Ahmad, 28, son of Abdul Gani of Bandoga; Riyaz Ahmad, 35, son of Abdul Gani, resident of Phagsoo; Ireena Begum, 28, wife of Saddam Hussian, resident of Ghunti; Mohammad Rafi, 40, son of Abdul Rehman, resident of Phagsoo and baby girl Ilham, 4 years old, daughter of Mohd Amir were brought dead while another girl child Noorain, 8 years old, daughter of Mohd Amir died during the treatment at Government Medical College (GMC) Doda.
The deceased baby girls Ilham and Noorain were real sisters and daughters of Mohd Amir who was injured in the accident.
The injured in the mishap were Mohd Amir, 28, son of Mohd Shafi, resident of Phagsoo; baby girl Safa Noor, 5 years old, daughter of Saddam Hussain; Sufiyan Shiekh, 24, son of Bashir Ahmed, resident of Behndoga and Saiyma Begum, wife of Mohd Amin and all of them were undergoing treatment at GMC Doda.
When contacted Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban (DKR) range, Shridhar Patil said it had grown dark at the time of accident while other details will only be available after investigation.
“The accident took place on a link road and as Doda is a hilly area, those driving on roads here should need to take extra care,” he said adding: “At evening hours one should drive with a low speed as even a slight mistake on the hilly Doda roads may cost too much.”
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Doda, Javed Iqbal when contacted informed that the accident took place at a periphery road on a hill.
“Extra vigil is required while driving vehicles on hilly roads as even a slight diversion from the main track on hilly Doda roads may land the vehicle in some very deep gorge,” he said.
The SSP further informed that byroads and link roads in Doda are narrow, so only a careful and vigil driving can ensure one to reach the destination safely.
Deputy Commissioner Doda, Harvindwer Singh was busy till late in the evening at GMC Doda supervising the treatment being given to the injured persons.
Police has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law and started investigation.
Meanwhile, Minister of State (MoS) at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr. Jitendra Singh has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the tragic road accident.
In a message, he prayed for the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss and recovery to the injured persons.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.
In a condolence message, he said: “I am deeply grieved and shocked at the tragic loss of lives and injuries resulting from the unfortunate road accident at Phagsoo, Doda. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I have issued instructions to District Administration Doda to provide all necessary assistance under the rule to the affected persons.”
It is pertinent to mention here that on November 15 last year 39 people lost their lives while 17 others were injured, some of them critically, when the bus they were on board fell in a deep gorge allegedly due to rash and negligent driving in the mountainous Doda district.
Meanwhile, on March 29 this year, 10 persons, mostly labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were killed in the mountainous Ramban district on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Battery Chashma when the vehicle they were onboard skidded off the road and landed in a 400 feet deep gorge.
Apart from this, on March 14 this year, a kid, 4, narrowly escaped a fatal road accident in mountainous district Kishtwar while his entire family including two brothers and parents lost their lives after the car in which the entire family was travelling rolled down and landed 300 feet below into a gorge.