Five people, including four tourists from Palakkad district in Kerala, died when the vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at Zojila Pass in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district on Tuesday. Officials confirmed that the driver of the vehicle also died in the accident.
According to reports, the vehicle, en route to Sonamarg, skidded off the road, resulting in the fatal incident. The four deceased have been identified as Sudesh, Vignesh, Rahul, and Anil. Two others— Rajesh, Arun, and Mahadev—who sustained injuries in the accident, were shifted to a hospital. One of the injured, who is in critical condition, was later shifted to SKIMS Soura for advanced medical treatment.
The vehicle skidded off at Zero Point on Zojila Pass after the group had returned from a skiing expedition at Pannimath Pass. The driver, Ajaz Ahmed Awan, attempted to jump out of the vehicle but was unsuccessful.
Following the accident, the Beacon Control Room promptly contacted the police and the Army, initiating a search operation. The search revealed that four out of the eight tourists died.
The bodies of the deceased are currently at Sonamarg. The senior superintendent of police (SSP) visited the site to oversee formalities. The bodies are scheduled to be moved to the hospital morgue for further processing.
Plans are underway to transport the bodies to Kerala by air at the earliest.