The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) today announced a compensation of Rs three lakh to the next of kin of Amarnath pilgrims killed in the bus accident in Jammu and Kashmir and Rs one lakh each to the injured. Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of SASB, expressed his deep grief over the incident and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families of those killed, an official spokesman said here. He said on behalf of the shrine board, Vohra announced relief of Rs three lakh to the next of kin of those killed and Rs one lakh each to those who were injured.
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Sixteen Amarnath pilgrims were killed and around 27 injured, 19 of them critically, when their bus skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and rolled into a deep nullah in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir this afternoon. The spokesman said that on learning about the accident, Vohra immediately flew to Banihal along with Chief Secretary B B Vyas, DGP S P Vaid and Chief Executive Officer, SASB, Umang Narula to oversee the rescue operations being carried out by the district administration with the help of the Air Force.
As per the governor’s earlier directions to the chief secretary, the seriously injured pilgrims were evacuated to Jammu through IAF helicopters, the spokesman said. He said the governor met the critically injured ‘yatris’ who were airlifted in a M17 helicopter after he arrived at Banihal. He met the doctors and enquired about the medical treatment given to the yatris before they were airlifted in his presence. The governor also visited the Banihal sub-district where, after discussion with the chief secretary and the attending doctors, he directed that the bodies of the 16 dead pilgrims be transported to Jammu from where after embalming and other formalities, the bodies would be sent by air to the their hometowns, the spokesman said.
He also appreciated the prompt relief provided by a local NGO who rescued the injured pilgrims, in coordination with the district administration, and sanctioned an amount of Rs five lakh to them for strengthening their humanitarian endeavours, the spokesman said.