(MENAFN) In a devastating incident in the mountainous Doda district of Indian-administered Kashmir, at least 36 passengers lost their lives, and 19 sustained injuries when a bus, carrying over 50 passengers, veered off a narrow mountain road and plunged approximately 100 meters into a gorge near Trungal in the Assar area. The tragic event unfolded on Wednesday, prompting a swift response from local authorities, police, and rescue workers in the challenging terrain of the Himalayan region.
Federal minister Jitendra Singh provided updates on the situation, confirming the grim toll and revealing that helicopters were being arranged to transport the injured to hospitals. Taking to Twitter, Mr. Singh expressed the severity of the situation, stating, "Unfortunately, 36 persons have died and 19 injured, out of whom 6 injured are serious. All possible help being provided … helicopter services to be arranged for the shifting of the more injured ones."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the tragedy by announcing compensation of 200,000 rupees (USD2,400) for the families of the victims and assuring necessary medical treatment for the injured. Distressing footage of the accident circulated on social media, depicting the mangled remains of the bus amid the challenging terrain as locals and rescue workers worked tirelessly to extract the injured from the wreckage.
This heartbreaking incident sheds light on the persisting challenges faced by the region, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, which is known for its treacherous terrain, narrow roads, and overcrowded public transport buses, contributing to a higher incidence of road accidents. This latest tragedy follows a pattern of similar incidents in the area, with at least 10 lives lost and 55 individuals injured in May after a bus skidded off a motorway into a gorge near Jammu.
Additionally, in September of the previous year, at least 12 passengers lost their lives when a bus fell into a gorge in the region's Poonch district.
This article delves into the circumstances surrounding the tragic bus accident, exploring the broader implications of road safety challenges in the region and the urgent need for enhanced safety measures to prevent such heart-wrenching incidents in the future.
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