15 killed, 15 injured as mini-bus falls into gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir

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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — At least 15 people were killed and 15 others injured on Saturday after a mini-bus carrying them skidded off a mountainous road and fell into gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The accident took place near Kala Morh in Ramban district, about 135 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

“Today in a tragic road accident a mini-bus on its way from Banihal town to Ramban rolled down into deep gorge here,” Superintendent of police Ramban Anita Sharma told Xinhua.

“Fourteen people were killed on spot and one woman who was airlifted has also succumbed, which means death toll as of now is 15.”

Sharma said the bodies were retrieved from gorge and have been kept in mortuary to be handed over to the victim families.

Locals said following the accident, they rushed to the spot and subsequently informed police who also arrived immediately bringing along ambulances.

“As the news about accident spread, locals as well as police officials and disaster response force personnel came to the spot to carry out rescue work of removing injured and retrieving bodies,” Mushtaq Tehseen, a local, said. “It was really a tough job to carry injured and dead from the deep gorge.”

Eyewitnesses said the vehicle was mangled after fall from a huge height.

According to police the mini-bus was carrying over 30 local passengers, more than its capacity.

Police officials have registered a case and ordered an investigation to ascertain the reason behind the deadly accident.

In a separate accident in the region at least 16 Indian army troopers were injured in a road accident in Shopian district, south of Srinagar, on Friday night.

The injured troopers, according to police, were immediately removed to hospital.

Deadly road accidents are common in India often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.

Officials say on an average over 400 deaths take place every day in India due to road accidents.

Last month 17 people were killed and 16 others injured in a similar accident in the region.

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