11 die as bus falls into rivulet

11 die as bus falls into rivulet

The toll may rise as condition of some of the injured is reported to be critical. Among the dead are two children, a woman and a police man.

As the Pahalgam-bound bus from Khiram reached Langanbal,  the driver lost control of the vehicle. The bus skidded off the road and rolled down to the Liddar rivulet.

“Four passengers died on the spot and seven in hospitals,” said Aamir Ali, officer on special duty at divisional commissioner’s office.

The injured were first taken to Pahalgam hospital. The critically injured were shifted to district hospital, Anantnag. But doctors referred them to hospitals in Srinagar. “Presently 13 injured are getting treatment at Sher-e-Kashmir institute of medical sciences and one at the bone and joints hospital in Srinagar,” Aamir said.

“The local residents rescued us,” said Nayeem Ahmad, who was injured in the accident. He said police and security forces also joined the rescue operation.

 “The accident did not hamper the (Amarnath)pilgrimage. All the deceased are local people and none among them is a pilgrim,” said Abdul Razak, a government official.
The people alleged that the medical staff in Pahalgam hospital was inadequate. “The shortage of doctors and para medical staff led to more death as the injured could not get the required treatment on time. Their condition deteriorated as they were being shifted to district hospital Anantnag. Five injured died there,” said Abdul Rashid, a local resident.

Meanwhile, mainstream and separatist leaders have expressed shock over the loss of lives in the accident. They have extended their sympathies to the bereaved families.

Divisional commissioner Asgar Hassan Samoon announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs. 25,000 to the next of kin of deceased, Rs 10,000 to those seriously injured and Rs 5,000 to other injured passengers. He also announced Rs 5,000 as relief for the injured out of Red Cross funds and Rs 10,000 to the next of kin of deceased.

Anantnag Deputy Commissioner also announced Rs 10,000 for the next of kin of deceased and Rs 5,000 for the seriously injured persons in the accident.

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