Death toll mounts to 36 in Kashmir bus accident

Other News Materials 9 May 2008 12:16 (UTC +04:00)

The death toll in an accident in which a bus fell into a river in India-administered Kashmir climbed to 36 with the recovery of four more bodies in search operations overnight, police said Friday.

The bus skidded off a mountain road and fell 122 metres into a tributary of the Chenab river in the southern Kishtwar district on Thursday, reported dpa.

"The bus was carrying 47 passengers when it met with the accident. Police and army have recovered 34 bodies from the fast-flowing Chenab river till now," District Superintendent of Police, Mumtaz Ahmed said.

Of the five passengers injured in the crash, two succumbed to their injuries at a hospital in Kishtwar, 190 kilometres north of the state's summer capital of Jammu.

The search for the eight missing passengers will continue, local government officials said.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the crash was due to an error on part of the driver.

"Investigations show that the driver was unable to negotiate a steep curve because of which the vehicle lost balance and fell into the river," Ahmed said.

More than 95,000 people are killed in road crashes in India annually, among the highest totals in the world.

Apart from Jammu and Kashmir, similar accidents are often reported from India's mountainous states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Poor maintenance of roads and vehicles and negligent driving are among the main reasons behind the accidents.