Ten Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims, the majority of whom were from Bihar, were slain and 57 others were injured on Tuesday when their bus veered off the road, struck the handrail of a bridge, and then fell off it, according to officials.

Two of the injured patients admitted to Government Medical College Hospital are in critical condition, according to the hospital’s principal, Shashi Soodan.

The tragedy occurred in the Jhajjar Kotli region of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, where the transport was traveling from Amritsar to Katra, according to the officials. Katra serves as a base station for pilgrims traveling to the holy site atop the Trikuta hills.

“The incident occurred on the Jhajjar Kotli bridge. Ten individuals have perished. The rescue operation is nearly complete, said Jammu’s senior police superintendent, Chandan Kohli, to PTI. “We are conducting an investigation into the accident’s causes.”

Local residents, members of the CRPF, and police officers raced to the scene and initiated the rescue operation.

“The troops of 137 CRPF battalion conducted the rescue operation to evacuate the injured driver and passengers from a bus that flipped over and fell from the Jhajjar Kotli bridge on the highway,” the force tweeted.

10 Vaishno Devi pilgrims die, 57 wounded after bus goes over Jammu bridge 2023 2

Two of the fifty-seven injured patients admitted to the GMC hospital in Jammu are in critical condition. Principal Soodan stated, “Two individuals were pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, and others died on the scene.”

10 bodies have been recovered.

The bus left the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and tumbled down the bridge over a nallah at Jajjar Kotli between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., according to the authorities.

They reported that the majority of pilgrims were from Lakhisarai, Bihar, and were visiting Mata Vaishno Devi for their child’s religious ceremony. They constituted an extended family.

Ravinder Panday, one of the passengers, reported feeling something strike the bus. “It lost its equilibrium and tumbled down. “The vehicle was carrying pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine from Amritsar to Katra,” he explained.

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The accident scene was horrifying, with corpses buried beneath the bus’s twisted remains.

A witness described the accident as follows: the bus was in the left lane, but it crossed into the right lane after the driver lost control, struck the bridge handrail, and went down.

The front wheels fell off and became entangled in the bridge’s parapet.

“We were going to pay our respects at the Mata Vaishno Devi temple and perform ‘Mundan’ (rituals involving the first shaving of a baby’s hair),” said Ramesh Kumar, who escaped unharmed.

For the journey to Katra, the vehicle with the Uttar Pradesh license plate number UP 81 CT 3537 should have made a left turn approximately two kilometers prior to the accident site. However, according to the passengers, the driver appeared to have lost his way and was likely headed for the Udhampur-Srinagar side of the highway.

“Extremely distressed by the tragic loss of life in a bus accident in Jhajjar Kotli, Jammu. My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, and prayers for the swift recovery of the injured. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha tweeted that he had ordered district administration to provide all possible assistance and medical care to the injured.

Chief Secretary Arun K. Mehta, DGP Dilbagh Singh, ADGP (Jammu Zone) Mukesh Singh, and other senior officials visited the Jammu GMC Hospital to inquire about the injuries.

The Chief Secretary instructed the hospital administration to provide the injured with the most effective care to expedite their recovery.

On May 21, a 27-year-old woman was murdered and 24 people were injured when a bus transporting Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims to Rajasthan overturned in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.