10 Vaishno Devi Pilgrims Dead, 57 Injured As Bus Falls Down From Bridge In Jammu; Most Were From Bihar
Jammu, May 30: 10 dead and 57 injured in Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Bihar. The double-decker bus they were traveling in veered off the road and hit the bridge’s railing and fell into the gorge on Tuesday. Jammu district officials said on Tuesday.
Government Medical College Hospital principal Shashi said two of the injured were in a critical condition, with the death toll likely to rise.
Officials said the bus, which was on its way to Katra from Amritsar, met with an accident at Jhajjar Kotli area. Katra is the base camp for pilgrims visiting the famous holy place on Trikuta Hill.
“There was an accident at Jhajjar Kotli bridge. Ten people died. The rescue operation is almost competitive,” Jammu Senior Superintendent of Police Chandan Kohli told PTI. “We are investigating the cause of the accident.” Local people, CRPF and police rushed to the spot and started rescue operation.
Fifty-seven injured have been admitted to GMC Hospital in Jammu, two of them are in critical condition. “Two people died in the hospital while others died on the spot,” said principle Soodan .
A CRPF official said that 10 bodies have been recovered. Officials said the bus overturned from a bridge over the Nalla at Jhajjar Kotli between 6.30 am and 7 am on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
They said most of the passengers hailed from Bihar’s Lakhisarai region and were on a pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi for their child’s religious function. They belong to a joint family.
Ravinder Pandey, one of the passengers said, “We felt something hit the bus. “It lost its balance and rolled down. The vehicle was on its way from Amritsar to Katra carrying pilgrims to the cave temple of Mata Vaishno Devi,” he said.
The scene of the accident was a horrifying sight as bodies were trapped under the wreckage of the bus.
Eyewitnesses of the accident said that the bus was on the left lane but the driver lost control and hit the railing of the bridge, causing it to veer to the right.
The front wheels came off and stuck to the walls of the bridge.
“We wanted to visit the Mata Vaishno Devi temple and have our child baptized. We were a family that worked together,” said Ramesh Kumar, who escaped unhurt.
To travel to Katra, the vehicle with Uttar Pradesh registration number (UP 81 CT 3537), should have taken a left turn two kilometers before the accident site, but the driver seemed to have lost direction, passengers said. Probably on the Udhampur-Srinagar side of the highway.
On May 21, a 27-year-old woman was killed and 24 people were injured when a Rajasthan-bound bus carrying Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims overturned in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.