Jammu: The driver of the state transport bus which fell into a deep gorge killing 15 persons, most of them believed to be Amarnath pilgrims, in Ramban district was drowsy during the night journey and was once even pulled up by some passengers before the accident, a survivor claimed.
Narrating the ordeal, one of the 18 injured passengers, Arvind, said the sleepy driver, who also died in the accident, had lost control over the bus once before the mishap also, but some passengers had woken him up.
"However, the bus driver again fell asleep and the bus hit a mountain and rolled down into a deep gorge," said Arvind, who has been admitted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu.
"After the bus hit the bottom of a nallah, I become unconscious," he said.
The State Road Transport Corporation bus was on its way from Kashmir Valley to Jammu when it skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and rolled down into Digdol nallah around 2320 hours last night, killing 15 people and injuring 18 others.
Meanwhile, BJP Legislative Party Chief Jugal Kishore Sharma, who visited the injured passengers, lashed out at the government, complaining that SRTC drivers ferrying pilgrims are over-worked and do not get enough sleep leading to accidents.
"The Government should arrange more drivers so that the drivers get time to rest," Sharma demanded.