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Bus rolls down gorge in Kashmir; at least 20 dead

From Mukhtar Ahmad, CNN
A wounded passenger is moved from an ambulance van to the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.
A wounded passenger is moved from an ambulance van to the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The bus skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar highway
  • Army helicopters are used to take the injured to hospitals, police say
  • Poor road conditions, overloading and speeding make accidents common in the region
RELATED TOPICS
  • India

Srinagar, India (CNN) -- At least 20 bus passengers were killed and a dozen others injured in a traffic accident Tuesday in Indian-administered Kashmir.

A senior police officer said the bus rolled into a deep gorge beside the Jammu-Srinagar highway after it skidded off the road when the driver lost control.

"The bus hurtled down several hundred meters from the serpentine mountainous road ... killing 18 passengers on the spot while 14 injured were evacuated to hospital," Dilbagh Singh, inspector general of police in the Jammu zone, told CNN.

"We pressed into service army choppers to ferry the injured to hospital for specialized treatment. Two injured persons succumbed in hospital, taking the toll to 20," he added.

He said some of the injured were in serious condition.

The government quickly announced it will provide compensation payments to the families of the dead and to the injured.

Highway accidents are common in the area because of bad road conditions, overloading and speeding.

 
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