9 killed in two road accidents in Jammu region

Jammu, March 24 (IANS) At least nine people were killed and 29 injured in two separate accidents on mountainous roads in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir Saturday.

Police officials told IANS that a private bus carrying 35 passengers, all of them Bihari labourers, was going from Jammu to Srinagar. It skidded off the mountainous National Highway near Nashri, about 140 km north of Jammu.

'Six people died in the accident while 29 others were injured,' said a police official. He said three people died on the spot while three others died on way to Ramban hospital.

The second accident happened at Ragie on the Jammu-Kishtwar highway when a private van fell into a gorge. 'Three members of a family travelling in the van died on the spot.'

The police said both accidents were being investigated but preliminary reports pointed to drivers in both cases losing control while negotiating sharp curves.

Mountainous roads in the Jammu region are notorious for road accidents. They are mostly attributed to over-loading of passenger buses, poor maintenance of vehicles, and shabby road conditions coupled with lack of mountain-driving skills.