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4 killed, 24 injured as bus catches fire in Katra    

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LG expresses grief, announces ex-gratia

Jammu: Four people were killed and 24 others injured when a passenger bus caught fire in Katra area of Reasi district on Friday, officials said.

According to the officials, the bus, which was carrying passengers, some of them the pilgrims on its way to Jammu from Katra, caught fire near Nomai, about 3 kilometers from Katra.

Katra is the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine.

The injured have been shifted to GMC hospital in Jammu, the officials said.

The Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh, who himself inspected the bus, said initial probe does not point to use of any explosive.

“The bus caught fire on its way from Katra to Jammu. The cause of fire is not confirmed yet”, Singh told reporters at the site.

The preliminary investigation doesn’t suggest that (a blast), but probe is on and nothing is confirmed, as of now, he said

A forensic team is looking into the cause of fire.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Ramesh Kumar visited the injured at the GMC Hospital and inquired about their treatment.

In a tweet, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said, “I am extremely pained by the loss of lives in the tragic bus incident in Katra. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

He directed the district administration to ensure best possible treatment to the injured.

The LG said an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the bus fire.

Rs 1 lakh would be given to the seriously injured, he said.

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