Tragedy struck the Amarnath pilgrimage for the second time as a J&K State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) bus carrying devotees skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and rolled into a deep nullah in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

According to sources, the bus skidded, turned turtle and rolled down in the nullah at Nachlana belt of Ramban late in the afternoon. The 17 deceased included two women and others who belonged to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. Among the 29 injured, 16 are reported to be highly critical and have been admitted to several hospitals in the state. 21 of the injured were airlifted in a chopper to Jammu and Kashmir for specialised treatments in Jammu and 10 were shifted to Srinagar Hospital.

Police officials, along with the help of the locals and the army launched a rescue operation to retrieve the dead and the injured from the nullah. 

Incidentally, the bus was part of a convoy carrying 3,603 pilgrims from Jammu to teh twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam for the pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath. Following the incident, PM Modi expressed grief at the loss of lives and also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured. Ordering an enquiry, Managing Director of JKSRTC Mir Afroz Ahmad said, "An in-house inquiry committee has been constituted to look into the circumstances that led to this tragic accident involving an SRTC bus carrying the Amarnath yatris."

Apart from the PM, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed deep condolences. 

Following is the list of the deceased:

  • Pawan Kumar S/o Dian Nath Parshad R/o Bihar.
  • Dalip Kumar S/o Dina Nath Parshad R/o Bihar.
  • Rohit Kumar S/o Shyam Parshad R/o Patna, Bihar.
  • Sagar Kumar S/o Pardeep Parshad R/o Gandhipath, Bihar.
  • Ram Karan Sharma S/o Gagan Sahai R/o Konta Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • Shalinder Singh S/o Balram Singh R/o Berobin, Rajasthan.
  • Ravinder Singh S/o Raghubir Singh R/o H No. 277 Indra Puri Modi Nagar, Ghaziabad, UP.
  • Ravinder Singh S/o Rajinder Singh R/o H No. 375 Gali No. 01 Sherpur Dharamshala Modinagar, Ghaziabad, UP.
  • Rahul Kumar S/o Daleep Singh R/o Golapur Datapur Cantt.
  • Meena Devi /o Zuhar Sahu R/o Tarigadan Chankyapur Gai No. 18 Denapur, Bihar.
  • Sikander S/o Pritam R/o Shahpur Modi Nagar Ghaziabad, UP.
  • Sheeshpal Saini S/o Ganpat Ram R/o W. No.12 Saini Nagar, Nawalgarh.
  • Darshan Singh S/o Chajju Ram R/o H. No 11 ward No 12 Bishnah
  • Gogal Chand S/o Ghanisham
  • Rachet Sharma S/o H.L Sharma C7/2012 SDA Hauz Khas,New Delhi.
  • Chander Kumar
  • Unidentified male aged about 28 years.