20 passengers killed in Kishtwar accident in J

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Jammu, May 8 (UNI) At least 20 passengers were killed when a bus plunged into river Chenab, about 20 kms short of Kishtwar, in Jammu and Kashmir today, official sources said.

''Twenty bodies have been fished out of the Chenab while search for other drowned passengers is going on,'' an official source at the spot told UNI.

Troops of 26 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), police and locals were conducting searches in Chenab.

''An alert has been sounded in all the police stations along the river Chenab downwards and special divers have been called in to search the drowned passengers,'' DIG (Doda Range) H K Lohia said.

While not divulging the number of casualties, Mr Lohia said only two had reportedly escaped death in the accident.

Two people, including a girl, escaped death as they slipped out of bus before it plunged into the river, sources said.

The bus, on its way to Kishtwar (229 kms from Jammu), rolled into river Chenab while negotiating a curve near Ballara Pul, about 20 kms short of its destination.

Nearly 25 people were travelling in the bus when it met with an accident at Phaghu Markh area, sources said.

UNI VJ PK GC1456

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