16 Amarnath pilgrims die in mishap

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Pilgrims injured in the bus accident are being brought for treatment at a hospital in Jammu. PTI

Jammu/Banihal: At least 16 Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 29 injured when a bus rolled down a gorge at Nachlana in Banihal area of Ramban district this afternoon. The ill-fated State Road Transport Corporation bus (JK02Y-0594) was part of a 143-vehicle convoy that left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu.
The bus was carrying 46 pilgrims. Ten pilgrims died on the spot and six succumbed to their injuries while being taken to the Sub-District Hospital, Banihal. Eighteen of the seriously injured were airlifted to Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, while 11 were admitted to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital and Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Kashmir. Two pilgrims, who jumped out, escaped unhurt, said SD Jamwal, IGP, Jammu. “One of the tyres burst. The driver lost control and the bus fell into a gorge,” he added.
Governor NN Vohra reached Banihal to supervise rescue operations. Accompanied by police chief SP Vaid, he visited the injured at the Banihal hospital.
Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister, has expressed sympathies with the families of the deceased.
The Prime Minister has announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured.

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