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22 killed, 69 injured in Akhnoor accident

6 children, 8 women among dead 17 children, 29 women among injured Rescue operation proved difficult; lasted around 5 hours
04:31 AM May 31, 2024 IST | SHUCHISMITA
22 killed  69 injured in akhnoor accident
Photo: Mir Imran/ GK

Jammu, May 30: In a major accident in the recent past in the region, twenty-two pilgrims mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, on way to Shivkhori shrine in Reasi district, were killed and sixty-nine others were injured when the bus, they were travelling in, fell into a deep gorge near Tanda in Akhnoor of Jammu district on Thursday.


The dead included six children and eight women while the injured also included seventeen children and twenty-nine women.


A police spokesperson said that the accident occurred when the bus, bearing registration number UP81CT-4058, carrying devotees, rolled down into 200-feet deep gorge at Chungi Morh between Tanda and Chowki Chaura area of Akhnoor sub-division this afternoon, killing twenty-two persons.


“Immediately rescue operation was launched by the police, army and local volunteers. It continued till late evening and called off after retrieving all bodies and the injured from badly mangled bus. All the dead bodies were shifted to Sub-District Hospital, Akhnoor,” he said.


As per account shared by the injured, the tragedy struck around 1 pm or so, when the driver, in order to prevent an imminent collision with a speeding car coming from the opposite direction, lost his control over the wheels, while negotiating a sharp curve.


“The vehicle fell into a gorge. There were screams all around. Though we were rescued by the security personnel and locals, including passers-by, who were the first responders yet for us, it was a ghastly spectre. We were on way to Shiv Khori to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva,” one of the injured, under treatment at GMC, Jammu said.


Few injured, who did not share their name, stated, “The driver told us that he was following this route to Shiv Khori as the main route was closed due to farmers’ agitation. Our mobile phones were not working as they were not charged. We had no idea about the route.” Senior officers of civil and police administration, including SSP Traffic, were also on the spot, supervising the operation.


Officials stated that the pilgrims were mainly drawn from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Presumably, they had started from Uttar Pradesh with a halt at Kurukshetra in Haryana, before reaching here.


It proved to be a very difficult rescue operation as all those involved including army, police and local volunteers had to risk their lives to retrieve the bodies and rescue the injured.

Reason was the steepness of the deep gorge. Initially, the first responders used ropes in the rescue operation to go down and pull the bodies and injured out of it (gorge). Later, the army used cranes and other related paraphernalia to expedite the rescue operation.

“Rescue operation lasted around five hours. It was called off in the evening after the last body (of a child) was pulled out of the gorge, lying underneath the bus,” 10 Artillery Brigade Commanding Officer, who was leading the rescue operation, told the media.


Block Medical Officer (BMO) Akhnoor, Dr Muhammad Saleem Khan, while speaking to the media persons, stated that in all, there were ninety-one passengers.

“Out of them, twenty-two died in the accident. They included eight males; eight females and six children. Among sixty-nine injured included twenty-nine females, twenty-three males and seventeen children. Fifty-seven injured were referred to Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital, Jammu while twelve were admitted to SDH, Akhnoor. Almost all passengers are either related or known to each other.”


GMC, Jammu Principal Dr Ashutosh Gupta stated, “We had received a message to be in ready-mode as the critical passengers were being brought here. We were all prepared for admission and management of the patients. First, priority for us was the management of the injured referred here. Our immediate aim was to give first aid to the patients to stabilise their condition so that we should not lose any life further. In case of major injuries, where the patients needed operation, we’re prepared for that also. That will come under the second phase. First phase is to save lives. Few are in critical condition”

Later, Deputy Commissioner Jammu and SSP Jammu visited GMC Jammu to enquire about the condition of the injured under treatment.

As per the list shared by BMO Akhnoor, the list of deceased included Dharamwati, 42, wife of Radhe Sham, resident of Aligarh, UP; Anamika, wife of Lakshman Parshad, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Naina, daughter of Lakshman Parshad, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Rudra, son of Lakshman Parshad, resident of Naya Aligarh UP; Ranvir Singh, resident of Hathras, UP; Lakshman Parshad, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Vicky, resident of Aligarh UP; Seema, wife of Samarjit Singh, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Randua,  resident of Hathras, UP; Sonu, daughter of Subash, resident of Naya, Aligarh; Samarjit, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Prachi, daughter of Jiten, resident of Hathras, UP; Tanuj, son of Sanjay, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Suresh, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Sanjay, son of Sunder Singh, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Renu, wife of Jagveer Singh, resident of Hathras, UP; an unidentified child from Dhanipur and unidentified person from Udhey Singh Nagar and Jai Parkash, son of Buri Singh from Naya Aligarh, UP.

The deceased also included two unidentified minor girls and an unidentified person (without face). All the bodies were shifted to Sub District Hospital, Akhnoor.

The injured were identified as Raj Kuntal, 8, son of Subhash Chander, resident of Raipur Mathura; Subhash Chander, 39, son of Lal Singh, resident of Raipur Mathura; Sanjay, 40, son of Gure Singh; Jaivir son of Gure Singh, 42, both residents of Aligarh, UP; Muni, 50, wife of Satvir, Rajwati, 50, wife of Satvir; Yashoda. 40, wife of Dharamvir, Anju, 40, wife of Jagbir, all residents of of Bharatpur, Rajasthan; Krishna, 13, son of Jai Veer Singh; Gopal, 25, son of Bhagwan Dass; Shanti Devi, 65, wife of Mahinder; Bila Devi, 50, wife of Goutam, Gomti, 24, wife of Rinku; Anushka, 5, daughter of Pawan; Janvi, 3, daughter of Pawan; Laksh Raj, 11 months, son of Pawan; Rinku Sharma, 29, son of Mohinder Pal, Radhika, 28, wife of Pawan Kumar; Satvir, 36, son of Jangali Singh; Rakesh, 25, son of Joginder; Sunita, 40, wife of Bobby, Kajal, 16, daughter of Satynder Singh – all residents of Aligarh, UP; Jatin, 17, son of Shamsher Singh, resident of Halapur, Haryana; Geeta Devi, 25, wife of Shishu Pal, resident of Hathras, UP; Amarvati, 50, wife of Ranbir, resident of Mathura; Suman, 70, wife of Yamuna Prasad, resident of Naya Aligarh, UP; Muni, 60, wife of Kumar Pal, Goutam Singh, 54, son of Surinder Singh, both residents of Aligarh, UP; Nirma, 32, wife of Harbir, resident of Bharatpur, Rajasthan; Muni Devi, 55, wife of Ram Kishan; Anu Priya, 14, daughter of Balkishan; Balkishan, 50, son of Raghunath Prasad, all residents of Aligarh, UP; Sangita, 27, wife of Arvinder, resident of Mathura; Rakesh, 25, son of Rajinder Singh, resident of Aligarh, UP; Ranbir, 70, son of Babu Lal, resident of Mathura; Sangeeta, 40, wife of Rashpal, resident of Aligarh, UP; Jai Shiv, 11, son of Arvinder, resident of Mathura; Arjun, 18, son of Radhe Sham, resident of Mathura; Raghbir, 70, son of Hardam Singh, resident of Daulat Pur, UP; Anju, 18, daughter of Satpal; Devo, 50, both residents of Aligarh UP; Gita, 30, wife of Chander Mohan, resident of Mathura; Tanvi, 12, son of Rakesh, resident of Aligarh UP; Shardha Devi, 65, wife of Shambir Singh, resident of Aligarh, UP; Urmila, 40, wife of Shamvir, resident of UP; Umar Pal, 70, son of Probu Singh, resident of Hathras, UP; Savitri, 23, dauther of Jai Parkash, resident of Hathras, UP; Rashpal, 40, son of Raginder; Suman, 22, wife of Pritam; Gourav, 10; son of Pritam; Radhika, 23, wife of Pawan Kumar, all residents of Aligarh, UP; Urvesh,35, wife of Sanjay, resident of UP; Geeta, 30, wife of Jaiver; Muni, 50, wife of Ram Krishan; Anita, 47, wife of Shavinder Singh, all residents of Aligarh, UP; Shagwan Singh, 45, son of Rajinder, resident of Aligarh; Neelam, 30, wife of Bhopinder, resident of Mathura; Punia, 60, wife of Ardvihari, resident of UP; Yogvir, 35, son of Giriraj, resident of Aligarh; Yash, 9, son of Yogvir, resident of UP; Jatin, 11, son of Ajeet Lal, resident of Mathura; Rajinder Singh, 52, son of Shiv Ram; Shankar Singh, 59, son of Raghunath Singh, both residents of Aligarh; Kamlesh, 50, wife of Umarpal;Koshal, 25, son of Sukhvir Singh, both residents of UP; Parnav, 16, son of Bhupinder; Arav, 10, son of Than Singh, both residents of Aligarh; Rakesh, 47, son of Than Singh; Lalit Kumar, 28, son of Sabar Singh, both residents of UP.