One passenger died and 20 others were injured when a negligently driven and overloaded minibus turned turtle at Chanunta Chowk, Mohra Dabbar in Ramnagar tehsil.
Police has arrested the driver of the minibus while the conductor, who was allegedly driving the vehicle at the time of accident, managed to flee before cops reached the spot.
The minibus, bearing registration number JK14B-9492, was on its way from Panjgrain to Udhampur when the accident took place allegedly because of negligent driving and overloading.
The 16-seater minibus was carrying 30 passengers and went out of control while negotiating a curve. It skidded off the road and turned turtle causing serious injuries to 21 passengers.
SDPO Ramnagar Dr Bhishm Dubey along with SHO Kulbir Singh rushed to the spot and with the help of locals, shifted the injured passengers to District Hospital Udhampur. One of the injured was referred to GMC Hospital Jammu because of his critical condition. However, he succumbed to his injuries during the treatment.
The deceased was identified as Parmanand (35), son of Basant Gir, resident of Chanunta.
The injured persons were identified as Reena Devi (42) wife of Madan Lal of Panjgrain, her 15-year old daughter Anmol Rani, Suman Devi (30) wife of Arjun Kumar of Ritti, her 3-year old son Manik Sharma, Radha Rani (27) wife of Kewal Kumar of Khail, Santokh Singh (70), son of Dharam Singh of Kathil Ganju, Shamshad Bibi (35), wife of Mir Hussain of Nagrota Panjgrain, Santosh Kumari (44) wife of Kewal Singh of Chanunta, Balak Ram (58) son of Sita Ram of Bhugtrian, Kewal Singh (47) son of Anant Ram of Chanunta, Shushma Devi (40) wife of Hardev Singh of Manwal, Rano Devi (23) wife of Jagan Singh of Manwal, Mohd Yasir (18) son of Rashid Ahmed of Chanunta, Nusrat, 3/2 year old son of Mohd Rafiq of Chanunta, Gushu Ram (25) son of Mohan Lal of Panjgrain, Bandhu Devi (21) wife of Gushu Ram of Panjgrain, Ameena Akhter (20) wife of Mohd Rafiq of Chanunta, Shakuntala Devi (40) wife of Krishan Lal of Khail Sear Manglan, Vishnu Devi (70) wife of Babu Ram of Chanunta and Jeeva Bauti (75) wife of Jagan Singh of Chanunta.
Ramnagar Police has registered a case in this connection under relevant sections of Law and arrested the minibus driver, namely Jamblu, resident of Khoo Nallah, Udhampur.
According to the passengers, the minibus was being driven by its conductor, who fled the scene after the accident. Police has launched a hunt to nab him.
Meanwhile, locals protested against bad condition of Chanunta road, which was also one of the reasons of the accident. They were also up in arms against non-availability of ambulance at Chanunta