At least 25 passengers have been injured in a bus accident in the Udhampur district of Kashmir, India on Wednesday.
The over-crowded passenger bus, which is thought to have been carrying 48 passengers despite only being registered for 36, was on its way from the district of Udhampur to Panjar when it slid off the road and plunged into a gorge. The accident occurred near the town of Kaint Gali, 103 kilometers north of Jammu.
According to police authorities, 25 people were injured in the accident. There were no fatalities. Ambulance personnel and rescue officials responded to the scene of the accident after being called by eye witnesses, and worked to free the injured passengers from the wreckage.
A large crowd soon gathered on the banks of the gorge, with bystanders attempting to assist the survivors and injured. Police had to disperse the crowd.
21 of the injured patients have been admitted to a district hospital in Udhampur, which four others who were less seriously hurt were transported by ambulance to a Public Health Center in Panchari, where they are being treated for minor injuries. The 21 passengers who were hospitalized are all in a stable condition and many will be discharged soon.
It is not entirely clear what the cause of the accident was, and officials will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident. The bus company that leased the bus, which could not be named in this article, has recently been involved in several other bus accidents, some of them fatal. The frequency with which tragic bus accidents occur on Indian roads has lead to a public enquiry into the safety of public transport in the country, focusing on bus companies and maintenance and safety protocols followed by such companies.
India has one of the most dangerous roads in the world, with national statistics showing that an estimated 110 000 people die on Indian roads each year. Many of these fatalities are due to accidents involving over-crowded buses, such as this one. Authorities are planning on implementing more stringent controls on passengers loads and safety checks in order to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.
Many bus accidents occur as a result of technical or mechanical problems on buses, which can be attributed to the bus company. Companies that provide transport to the public should be held to strict safety control and maintenance requirements to allow the population to travel safely.