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ITBP personnel killed, 34 injured as bus falls into gorge

ITBP personnel killed, 34 injured as bus falls into gorge
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30 passengers had a miraculous escape in Doda mishap

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Banihal: An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel was killed and 34 others, including three officers of the paramilitary force, were injured Monday when a bus carrying them skidded off the road and fell into a gorge along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, police said.
Nine of the injured persons, including a sub-inspector, two assistant sub-inspectors and a civilian driver, were airlifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital here for specialised treatment, a police officer said.
He said the vehicle was carrying ITBP personnel, deployed in Rambun district for recent panchayat elections and was part of a Jammu-bound convoy.
The accident occurred near KhuniNallah in Ramban district around 8.45 am, he added.
Trees prevented the bus from falling further down in the gorge and the rescuers comprising of Army, police and local volunteers immediately reached the accident site and evacuated the victims, the officer said.
He said an ITBP personnel identified as Mohammad Ali was declared brought dead while 34 others, including the driver and conductor of the vehicle, were rescued in an injured condition and shifted to the Ramban district hospital.
Besides the nine critically injured persons, who were airlifted from accident site, two more wounded ITBP personnel were shifted to the GMC by road, the officer said.
He said the ITBP column was deployed in Budgam district of central Kashmir in connection with the recently held panchayat polls and the personnel were returning to their base outside the state when the accident occurred.
Meanwhile, over 30 passengers had a great escape when a bus skidded off a slippery, icy hill road and teetered precariously over a steep gorge in Doda.
Locals helped rescue the passengers from the bus, which was wedged between two concrete parapets on the winding road.
In a scene that could be straight out of a film, half the vehicle was hanging over the gorge at Gatsu village on the Batote-Kishtwar highway in Jammu region, Bhadarwah Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rajinder Singh said.
The bus was on its way to Jammu town from Padder area of Kishtwar district when the accident took place in the morning, Singh said.
The driver lost control of the vehicle due to frost on the road in the sub-zero temperatures, the ASP said, citing preliminary investigation reports.
The officer advised drivers to manoeuvre carefully as most of the roads in the district remain frozen during winter and become slippery.
In a separate accident in Kathua district, a person named Mohammad Abdullah Sheikh died and five people were injured in a head-on collision between a car and another vehicle near GundThather village in Banihal in the morning, a police officer said.
In another incident, ArunRaina was found dead inside his car, which was pulled out from a canal near SawanChak. The vehicle apparently fell into the canal on Sunday night and was noticed by some persons who informed the police, the officer said. (PTI)

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