10 killed in Ramban accident

Prez, PM, LG  express grief, condolence; Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia announced for NoKs of deceased; rain, slippery road may have led to accident: SSP Ramban

Ramban, Mar 29: At least ten people were killed after a passenger vehicle they were travelling in skidded off the road amid heavy rain and fell into a gorge in Ramban district on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway early on Friday, officials said.

Officials informed KNO that the vehicle, believed to be a Chevrolet Tavera, on its way from Jammu to Srinagar met with an accident and fell into around 300-feet deep gorge near Battery Chashma around 01:15 am.

“At 6:00 am this morning, the rescue operation was started by SDRF, Ramban Police, army and volunteers amidst heavy rain and poor visibility. Ten bodies have been recovered from the rescue operation site,” the official said.

The rescue team at the accident site recovered two identity cards belonging to the deceased, identified as Balwan Singh, a driver from Gharota in Jammu district, and Vipin Mukhiya from Bhairagang in West Champaran district of Bihar. The identities of other deceased persons are being ascertained, the official said, adding that the vehicle was carrying mostly non-local residents.
He said the vehicle has not been traced yet, and all the bodies have been shifted to Ramban district hospital.
Police have registered a case and further investigation is underway, he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ramban, Anuj Kumar, said the barrier on the road was broken, indicating that the vehicle could have been travelling at a speed of 80 to 100 km/h.
Regarding the cause of the accident, he said rain and slippery road conditions may also have led to the incident. “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need to be developed with all stakeholders, including NHAI, private construction companies and traffic authorities, as preventive measures for road accidents,” he said.
The SSP said drones have been deployed to locate the vehicle, as the gushing water flow in the Nallah has swept it away.
Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu expressed her condolences on the tragic incident.

Taking to her official X account she said, “The news of many people getting killed after a vehicle fell into a ditch in Ramban area on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is very sad. I offer my condolences to the bereaved families.”
In a post on X, PMO India said, “PM Modi has expressed grief on the accident in Ramban, Jammu and Kashmir. He extends condolences to the bereaved families and prays for a quick recovery of the injured.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased. The injured would be given Rs 50000.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed shock and grief over the loss of lives in the Ramban road accident.
In a condolence message, the Lt Governor said, “I am deeply shocked to learn of the unfortunate road accident in Ramban today, in which precious lives have been lost. I send my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I have issued instructions to the District Administration and Divisional Commissioner to render all assistance, as provided in rule, to the kin of victims”.

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