16 Amarnath pilgrims were killed on Sunday and 26 were seriously injured when the bus in which they were travelling fell into a gorge at the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban district.
Police sources said that the bus carrying the pilgrims from Jammu to the shrine spun out of control at Nachnala and rolled into the gorge. Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ramban, Mohan Lal said that the bus bearing the registration number JK02Y 0594, was heading towards Srinagar when it rolled into the gorge near an Army camp in Nachilana area of Banihal in Ramban district after its rear tyre burst.
"Sixteen pilgrims have died," a police officer said. "Rescue operations are on." Police said the accident occurred at 1.45 p.m.
The seriously injured pilgrims were flown by the Army's helicopters to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu.
Following in the incident, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with J-K Governor NN Vohra.
Meanwhile, the government has released helpline numbers to enquire about Amarnath yatris travelling in the bus that met with accident in Ramban.
For any queries, contact: 0191-2560401 and 0191-2542000
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while expressing shock over the incident said, "I pray that those injured in the bus accident in J&K recover soon."
He also announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the next of kin of the Amarnath pilgrims killed and Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured.