Srinagar, Dec 8: In a tragic incident, at least 14 people were killed after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in Plera in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district on Saturday.
Apart from the fatalities, at least 12 people were injured in the accident.
An official said that a passenger bus (registration number JK02W0445) heading towards Poonch from Loran skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge at Plera around 9:15 am.
He said that at least 14 persons travelling on the bus died in the accident while at least 12 others were injured.
The injured were shifted to sub-district hospital Mandi for treatment.
The deceased included a two-year-old girl identified as AfiaParveen and her mother Parveen Akhter (35) of Loyal Bella village.
Others who died in the accident were identified as Aijaz Ahmad (32) of Sib, Mohammad Yasar (10) of Loyal Bella village, Wali Mohd (72) of Barachar, Ghulam Hussain (52) and Bashir Ahmad (38) of Chikri, Shariefa (40), Nazia Akhter (17), Gulshan Akhter (21), Mohammad Yousuf (26), Bashir Ahmad (50), Abdula Rashid (45) and Mohammad Rashid (55) all resident of Loran village.
Earlier in the day, Block Medical Officer Poonch Syed Mushtaq Hussain had said that eleven persons died in the accident.
“19 passengers were injured in the accident. Five critically injured patients were referred to district hospital Poonch for specialised treatment,” he said.
Three more people succumbed to their injuries on way or at the hospital taking the overall death toll to 14.
Governor J&K, Satya Pal Malik expressed grief and anguish over the loss of precious lives in the tragic road.
In his message, Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. He has wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
Abdullahs, Mehbooba anguished
Srinagar, Dec 8: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed deep sorrow and anguish over the loss of lives in a tragic road accidentin Plera in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district on Saturday.
Farooq described the loss of lives as unfortunate and tragic.
“It’s alarming how such accidents have become a routine now in the state. I convey my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those killed in the accident,” he said adding, “The causes of the fateful accident should be ascertained. The incumbent government needs to devise a strategy to reduce these tragedies,” he said.
Omar, while expressing concern over the recurrence of such fatal accidents in the Chenab valley and Pirpanchal areas said: “The incumbent administration should do an appraisal of the factors concerning passenger safety in the areas as are mostly hilly. It is heart wrenching to hear about such deadly incidents happening time and again.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti too expressed shock and grief over the loss of lives in the tragic road accident.
In a statement issued here, the PDP president described the deaths in the accident as unfortunate and tragic. She also conveyed her sympathies to the families of those killed in the accident.
The PDP president further expressed concern over the surge being witnessed in road accidents in the hilly areas of the State and asked the state government to review the status of the parameters pertaining to passenger safety, road and vehicle conditions in the state in general and in the hilly areas in particular.
Mehbooba Mufti has extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the tragic accident while praying for speedy recovery to those who were injured in the accident.
Geelani,Mirwaiz grieved over loss of lives
Srinagar, Dec 8:Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani expressed his deep condolence with the families of all those persons killed after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at Mandi Poonch on Saturday.
In a statement, Saturday, senior Hurriyat leader consoled the injured people in the accident.
Praying for their heavenly abode and bestowal of forbearance to their near and dear ones, the Hurriyat leader expressed his anguish on the criminal negligence committed by the authorities for the disproportionate development of the whole Chenab valley.
Hurriyat (G) Chairman condemned the discrimination adopted by the authorities, towards the Chenab region on the ground.
Meanwhile, Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday expressed grief over the loss of lives in an accident at Mandi area of Poonch district.
Taking to the social networking site, Twitter Mirwaiz wrote: “Deeply grieved at the loss of life in the tragic road accident at Poonch. My condolences to the affected families. Pray to almighty for speedy recovery of the injured.”
5 dead, as many missing as avalanche hits Khardung La pass
Srinagar, Jan 18: Five persons were killed and five others missing after their truck came under an avalanche in the Khardung La area of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
The avalanche hit the truck carrying 10 persons at the Khardung La pass in the Ladakh region at 7 am, an official of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said.
The BRO pressed into service its men and machinery to rescue the passengers of the truck, who were believed to be trapped under the debris, he added.
The police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel had also reached the spot, the BRO official said.
“So far, the bodies of five persons have been recovered from the avalanche site, while a search is on for the other missing persons,” he added.
A bulldozer driver posted at the Khardung La Pass said two tippers and a Scorpio vehicle carrying about 12 persons left towards K-top area early morning to load snow to Leh.
“One tipper was already loaded with snow. However, the mishap occurred when they were loading another vehicle. Suddenly, an avalanche hit them and 10 people in a tipper were buried under the snow,” he said.
A senior police official said, “At least 10-12 people were trapped under the snow and a body of a local resident from Leh has been recovered from the area. Fresh snowfall took place in the area on Thursday and they had gone to collect snow in a vehicle.”
Rescue teams of police, Border Roads Organisation and Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Force reached the spot.
A high alert for avalanche was sounded on Thursday by the administration following adverse weather advisory by the Met department.
Guv expresses grief, announces Rs 5 lakh compensation
Jammu, Jan 18: Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over loss of precious lives due to snow avalanche at Khardung La in Leh district, Friday morning.
In his message, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said, the Governor prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief.
Governor has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for the next of the kin of those killed in the avalanche.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah too expressed deep sorrow over the loss of lives in the avalanche.
The party spokesman in a statement said that the duo has urged the administration to expedite the rescue operation and ensure all support to the families of the deceased.
Both Farooq and Omar urged the governor administration to gear up its men and machinery to meet any eventuality in wake of heavy snowfall as predicted by the local MeT officials.
Impressing upon the administration to ensure that people don’t have to suffer due to the vagaries of weather, the duo urged the administration to ensure all arterial and other routes are kept open to avoid any suffering to people.
Kashmir braces for heavy snow spell from today
Srinagar, Jan 18: As the meteorological department has predicted another spell of moderate to heavy snowfall in the Kashmir region from Saturday onwards, people in Kashmir are readying themselves by keeping ample stock of food and ensuring proper heating arrangements are put in place.
With the western disturbances likely to affect the region, the officials have also warned of disruption of road, rail and air traffic from Saturday afternoon.
“The western disturbances are most likely to affect the state and its adjoining areas from January 19 to 25, with the main activity between January 20 and 23 and gradual decrease thereafter,” Sonam Lotus, director Meteorological department said.
He said moderate to heavy snowfall and rain was expected at widespread places of the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
“Some places may receive very heavy rain and snow during this period,” he said, adding that light snowfall would begin at a few places in Kashmir on Saturday morning and increase in intensity and distribution thereafter.
On Friday, Kargil recorded the night’s lowest temperature at minus 19.2 degrees Celsius while neighbouring Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 15.6, Met office said.
Drass town was the coldest in the Jammu and Kashmir at minus 27.1.
Srinagar, the summer capital of the state recorded a low of minus 0.7 while the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 10.0 degrees Celsius while night temperature in Pahalgam – the famous health resort settled at a low of minus 10.3 degrees.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius while Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius last night.
Jammu city recorded 5.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 6.3, Batote 2.5, Bannihal 0.7 and Bhaderwah minus 0.8 degree Celsius.
Twin grenade attacks in city-centre, Shopian
Srinagar, Jan 18: Less than 24 hours after the Rajbagh grenade attack, militants on Friday carried out two more grenade attacks on government forces in Kashmir, including one in the city-centre Lal Chowk here.
Militants lobbed a grenade at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bunker at Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in Lal Chowk in the afternoon, a police official said.
The grenade exploded on the roadside, he said, adding that no one was hurt in the attack.
A private car parked on the roadside was partly damaged due to the explosion, the official said.
Window panes of a few shops on either side of the road were also damaged because of the blast.
This was the second such attack on government forces in Srinagar within 24 hours.
Earlier on Thursday, militants had hurled a grenade on police personnel at Zero Bridge here, resulting in injuries to three policemen.
In another incident on Friday, militants lobbed a grenade at a police camp in Gagran village of Shopian district of south Kashmir. However there was no report of loss of life or damage to property.
A police spokesperson came out with the following statement later in the day: Police had to attend two “terror” crime spots today following the reports of grenade attack by militants at Srinagar and Shopian. Officers from the local police units immediately reached to both the crime spot this (Friday) afternoon to initiate the investigation in the matter.
“While attending the crime spot, officers did not receive any report pertaining to the loss of life or property. Police has registered cases for both the incidents. Officers from the local police units are at work to establish the full circumstances which led to these incidents. If you have any information that can assist police in its investigation, you may kindly contact Police,” the spokesperson said.
The three attacks come days ahead of the Republic day and is likely to push government forces for taking even more stringent ‘security’ arrangements, especially in and around the city.
Later in the day, militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed the responsibility of the grenade attacks in Srinagar and Shopian.
A spokesperson of JeM Mohammad Hassan in a statement to news agency GNS claimed that three forces personnel were injured in the attack at City Centre Lal Chowk.
He also claimed that several forces personnel were critically injured in the attack at Gagran in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
The Kashmir Monitor also received a phone call from one Hamza Rashid, who said he was the spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front, and claimed the responsibility of the Lal Chowk grenade attack.