11 dead, 29 injured in bus accident in Kashmir
NEW DELHI (AP) — A minibus tumbled into a deep gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday, killing 11 people and injuring 29 others, officials said.
At least 36 people were on board the bus when the accident occurred near Sawjian, a village in Jammu’s Poonch district, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Rescue efforts by the army, police and local villagers were underway, it quoted authorities as saying.
Nine people were killed on the spot and two others died later in a hospital. Officials said the 29 injured people were in critical condition, including six who were airlifted to a hospital in Jammu, PTI reported.
The bus, which was carrying a number of students, plunged about 75 meters (250 feet) down the steep gorge.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced in a tweet that compensation of 500,000 rupees (about $6,300) would be given to victims’ families.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and president, Droupadi Murmu, both expressed their condolences on Twitter.
“My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” Modi wrote.
Last month, a bus carrying paramilitary soldiers in the Kashmir region skidded off a mountainous road and rolled down into a river, killing six people and injuring dozens.
Hundreds of thousands of people are killed or injured annually on India’s roads. Most accidents are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.