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5 killed as vehicle plunges into gorge in Ramban

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LG mourns loss of lives, asks depts to carry out road safety audit within week

Banihal: Five people were killed and one more was critically injured on Saturday when a cab skidded off the road and fell into a 300-meter gorge along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district, police said.

The SUV was on its way to Jammu from Srinagar and the accident took place at Digdole near Khuni Nallah when its driver lost control over the vehicle, Ramban Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) P D Nitya said.

A defence spokesman said the speedy vehicle hit another car before plunging into the deep gorge around 9.30 am and was first noticed by the Road Opening Party (ROP) of the Territorial Army.

Laying ropes, the troops went down the 90 degree steep slope and located five of the six passengers, he said, adding three were found dead on the spot and two seriously injured were given first-aid before they were evacuated to District Hospital Ramban, where one of them was declared brought dead.

He said the army rescue party was immediately joined by police, CRPF and local volunteers and later one more body was found entangled in the wreckage of the mangled vehicle from the river.

Police identified three of the deceased as CRPF head constable Shagun Kumar of Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), Vaneet Kour of Gupkar (Srinagar) and Garu Ram of Talab Tillo (Jammu).

The other two deceased have been identified as Mohammad Rafi of Uri (Baramulla) and Sanjeev Kumar of Reasi, who is working as a follower in 16th Battalion IRP.

The injured, Ajeet Kumar, a resident of Billawar (Kathua) posted in third battalion Indian Reserve Police (IRP), was referred to Jammu for specialised treatment, police said.

While expressing grief over the accident, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha directed the departments concerned to carry out road safety audit and rectification measures within a week.

“Saddened by the loss of lives in Ramban road accident. My condolences to bereaved families. I have directed the concerned departments to carry out road safety audit and rectification measures within a week,” the LG said on Twitter.

Sinha also directed for launching road safety awareness campaign on such stretches to check accidents caused due to human errors.

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