An injured person is shifted to the government medical college hospital for treatment in Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 1, 2019. The death toll from Monday's mini-bus accident in Indian-controlled Kashmir has risen to 35, official said. Another 17 people injured in the accident were undergoing treatment in different hospitals. (Xinhua/Stringer)
by Peerzada Arshad Hamid
SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from Monday's mini-bus accident in Indian-controlled Kashmir has risen to 35, official said.
Another 17 people injured in the accident were undergoing treatment in different hospitals.
The accident took place Monday at around 7:50 a.m. local time in mountainous Keshwan village of Kishtwar district, about 210 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"The death toll in today's accident has risen to 35," Angrez Singh Rana, deputy commissioner Kishtwar, told Xinhua. "Seventeen people were injured in the accident. Right now 14 are undergoing treatment at the district hospital here and three others have been airlifted to government medical college hospital, Jammu."
A senior police official posted at police post Thakrai said the victims were locals who had taken an intra-district mini-bus to reach the district headquarters.
The death toll is likely to increase due to the critical condition of some of the injured.
No sooner the accident took place, locals reached the spot and informed police, who rushed police teams to carry rescue operation at massive scale.
"Both locals and our teams carried out the rescue work by removing injured to hospital and retrieving bodies from the gorge," the police official said.
Police officials have registered a case and ordered investigations into the accident. According to police officials' preliminary investigations, the mini-bus was overloaded.
The region's Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the tragedy. Malik has conveyed his sympathies in a condolence message to the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed souls.
"Governor observed that most of the accidents take place due to careless and untrained drivers who drive without any regard for rules and regulations and become reason for loosing so many precious lives," a spokesman at the governor's office said.
"Governor said all the reasons for such incidents will be probed thoroughly and strong decisions will be taken in the next State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting to ensure strict action against those responsible for such avoidable incidents."
Officials said few months back the governor had directed officers of the transport department to take away unfit vehicles and untrained drivers off the roads in the region.
Meanwhile, the governor has announced a monetary relief of 7,245 U.S. dollars to each family that lost member in the deadly crash and directed the administration to provide best medical treatment to the injured.
Last week, 11 people, including nine young female students, were killed and eight others injured after a vehicle skidded off the mountainous road and fell into a deep gorge in the region's Shopian district.
Deadly road accidents are common in India often due to overloading, bad conditions of roads and reckless driving.