Jammu: At least 14 persons were killed and 17 others injured when a speeding overcrowded mini bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in the Ramnagar area of Udhampur district here on Tuesday.
The government has announced exgratia relief of Rs one lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 10,000 each to the injured in the accident.
"14 persons were killed and 17 others injured, 7 of them seriously, when the matador they were travelling in plunged into a deep gorge at Dalsar near Ramnagar around 8:20 AM," Deputy Commissioner Udhampur, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said.
He said while the vehicle was overspeeding, it was also carrying passengers more than its capacity.
"The 24-seater matador was carrying 31 persons including the driver and the conductor. The driver lost control over the vehicle reportedly while overspeeding," he said.
The DC said that the eye witnesses informed the police that the driver was reportedly using his mobile phone when he lost control on the overspeeding vehicle as he was also competing with another vehicle to pick up more passengers.
"On the directions of the government, the district administration provided relief of Rs one lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 10,000 each to the injured in the accident," he said.
He said that soon after they received the information about the accident, a coordinated rescue operation was launched and more than 14 persons were evacuated from the trapped vehicle.
The DC said that eight ambulances, rescue teams and cranes were rushed to the spot. A group of around 50 local youth also helped in rescue operation resulting in saving more lives, he added.
He said that three injured were admitted in the Military Hospital at Udhampur, one was referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital Jammu and 13 were under treatment at district hospital Udhampur.