Occupied SRINAGAR: At least 37 people were killed when a passenger bus skidded off a mountainous road and plunged into a deep valley in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on Wednesday, police said.
The crash occurred on a remote road in Doda district, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southeast of the district’s capital, Srinagar.
Local government official Harvinder Singh said: AFP He announced that 37 people were killed.
Authorities said police feared the death toll would rise, and that at least 18 people were injured in the accident and taken to hospital.
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Police officer Sunil Gupta said the accident was “caused by negligence on the part of the driver when he hit the crash bar on the road.”
“The bus rolled down the mountain about 250 meters (800 feet),” he said.
A video clip from the area showed a grisly scene where several bodies were found as rescuers tried to help the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the accident was “saddening” and expressed his “condolences to the families who lost their near and dear ones”.
“I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said on social media, adding that the government would offer compensation of more than $2,400 to the relatives of the dead and more than $600 to the injured.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Home Minister Amit Shah said he was “deeply pained to learn about the loss of precious lives”.
“The local government is carrying out rescue work in the valley where the bus crashed.”
Accidents are frequent on India’s extensive network of highways, which are often poorly maintained.
The country accounts for 11 percent of global road deaths despite owning only one percent of the world’s vehicles, according to a 2021 report by the World Bank.
The same report estimates that 150,000 car accident deaths occur annually in India, or one every four minutes, resulting in road accidents costing the Indian economy approximately $75 billion annually, the report said.
Medical costs and loss of income push many crash survivors into poverty.
In May, at least 21 people died when a bus in India went off a bridge after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
In July, 25 people died and eight were injured when a bus crashed onto a highway and caught fire in western India.
news source (www.brecorder.com)