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10 people killed after SUV falls into gorge in J&K's Ramban

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NewsDrum Desk
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Banihal/Jammu, Mar 29 (PTI) Ten people were killed after an SUV skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and fell into a gorge in Ramban district on Friday, officials said.

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The vehicle, a Tavera, was on its way to Jammu from Srinagar and it fell into a 300-foot gorge at the Battery Cheshma area of the district around 1.15 am, they said.

The bodies of nine passengers and the driver of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) have been recovered, the officials said.

They said the car's driver, Balwan Singh (47), of Amb Ghrotha in Jammu and Vipin Mukhiya Bhairagang of West Champaran in Bihar are among the deceased.

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The operation to retrieve the bodies was carried out by police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel amid heavy rains in the area, the officials said.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief about the accident and extended his condolences to the bereaved families.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) 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.

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President Droupadi Murmu mourned the loss of lives in the road accident and conveyed her condolences to the bereaved families.

"The news of people getting killed after a vehicle fell into a gorge in the Ramban area on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is very sad. I offer my condolences to the bereaved families," Murmu said in a post in Hindi on X.

Union Minister and Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh in a post on X said, "My sincere condolences to the bereaved families".

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"Spoke to Ramban Deputy Commissioner Baseer-ul-Haq after learning about the tragic road accident in which a passenger taxi rolled down a deep gorge on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Battery Chashma leading to loss of 10 lives," Singh said.

In his condolence message, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha 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." Political parties in Kashmir too expressed grief over the accident with National Conference president Farooq Abdullah urging the administration to reach out to the affected families with adequate relief and compensation.

Party's vice president Omar Abdullah said the promised four-lane highway must be completed at the earliest so that the people can undertake their journeys with the assurance of greater safety.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Democratic Progressive Azad Party chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad, Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone and CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami too expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. PTI COR AB SSB RHL

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