36 dead as bus falls into gorge in Jammu's Doda; rescue underway

The bus was badly damaged in the impact of the fall and the toll may rise

PTI11_15_2023_000107B Rescue operation underway after a bus carrying passengers fell into a gorge, in Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir | PTI

Thirty-six people died after a bus carrying passengers fell off road into a gorge in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district on Wednesday. Rescue operations were going on and some of the injured passengers are likely to be airlifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital.

"Saddened to share the update from DC #Doda Sh Harvinder Singh from the spot of the accident. Unfortunately 36 persons have died and 19 injured, out of whom 6 injured are serious," Union Minister Jitendra Singh posted on X.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Ramesh Kumar said the bus bearing registration number JK02CN-6555 was reportedly carrying around 40 passengers. The bus was plying on the the Batote-Kishtwar national highway when it skidded off the road near Trungal-Assar and plunged  300 feet downhill.

The bus was badly damaged resulting in higher death toll, PTI quoted sources. 

Police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel, besides locals, are involved in the rescue operation. 

Prime Minister Modi expressed sorrow over the tragic bus accident, and extended condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. In a tweet on X (formerly Twitter), the prime minister wrote: "The bus accident in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir is distressing. My condolences to the families who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest."

He announced financial assistance to the affected families, saying, "An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured."

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha also shared their condolences over the loss of lives in the accident. The government officials joined in expressing grief and solidarity with the affected families during this difficult time.

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