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9 dead, 5 injured as passenger vehicle falls into gorge in Kathua

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Driver killed as truck falls into gorge in Ramban

Jammu, Feb 22: Nine people, including three women and as many children, were killed and five others injured on Saturday when a passenger vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in  Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, officials said.

The accident took place around 5.30 pm in remote Mallar village when the driver of a Tata Sumo lost control over the vehicle which rolled down into the 300 feet deep gorge, the officials said.

The vehicle was on way to Nailo village, they said, adding the villagers launched a rescue operation. Police parties rushed to the spot after being informed about the incident and joined the locals in carrying out the operation.

The rescuers pulled out nine bodies from the vehicle and sent five critically injured people to a local hospital, the officials said.

They said three women and three children were among those killed and the identities of the deceased were being ascertained.

The injured were later referred to the Government Medical College Jammu, the officials said.

Meanwhile, a truck driver was killed after his vehicle skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in Ramban district early on Saturday morning, police said.

The deceased was identified as Jagdish Kumar (40), a resident of Udhampur district’s Ramnagar area, they said.

The truck, which was loaded with washing machines and refrigerators, was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu. It skidded off the road and rolled down into a 400 feet deep gorge at Chamalwas near Banihal in Ramban around 5 am, a police official said.

Rescuers immediately swung into action and pulled out the driver’s body, he said.

The body was handed over to Kumar’s family after completion of legal formalities, the official said.

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