Akhnoor bus accident claims 22 lives
A bus carrying passengers from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, plunged into a deep gorge near Tanda in the Akhnoor area of Jammu on May 30, 2024

SRINAGAR — In a devastating accident on Thursday, a bus carrying passengers from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, plunged into a deep gorge near Tanda in the Akhnoor area of Jammu, resulting in the deaths of at least 22 passengers and injuries to 57 others. The tragic incident has prompted a significant response from local authorities and top political leaders.

The accident occurred when the driver of the overcrowded bus reportedly lost control of the vehicle, causing it to hurtle down into the gorge. Rescue operations were promptly launched by the District Administration, Police, Army, and other emergency teams to retrieve the bodies and assist the injured. By 6 pm, officials confirmed that the casualty count had risen to 22, with 57 individuals receiving treatment at a local health facility.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sorrow over the incident, announcing financial assistance for the victims’ families. “Anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus mishap in Akhnoor. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that the injured recover soon,” he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The PMO further stated that Rs. 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the injured.

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President Droupadi Murmu also conveyed her condolences, stating, “Pained beyond words to learn about the loss of lives in a bus accident in Akhnoor near Jammu. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I wish a speedy recovery of the injured,” she added in a post on X.

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, expressed his grief and announced additional financial support. “The bus accident in Akhnoor, Jammu is heart-rending. I condole the loss of lives and pray to the almighty to give the bereaved families the strength to bear the irreparable loss. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he stated.

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The LG announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the injured. He assured that the administration is providing all possible assistance and medical facilities to the affected families.

In response to the accident, District Magistrate Jammu, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, has ordered a magisterial inquiry to determine the cause. The Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Jammu is expected to submit a report within seven days. “Other officers have also been tasked to provide necessary assistance,” DM Vaishya noted in a statement.

Political leaders from various parties have expressed their sorrow and extended condolences to the bereaved families.

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