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Pilgrims to Jammu and Kashmir have to brave much more than rough terrain

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 10:03 IST

Seven people were killed on Monday when a helicopter, ferrying passengers to the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir, crashed near Katra.

This is not the first such incident in the state. The last few years have seen an increasing number of accidents in the state - with pilgrims suffering maximum casualties. Despite the perilous roads and the high-accident rates, pilgrims continue to throng Jammu and Kashmir's holy sites.

Here are eight recent accidents:

  • At least 14 people were killed in October this year when a speeding minibus plunged into a gorge in Udhampur district. Atleast 17 people were injured in the accident.

  • A bus carrying a group of pilgrims returning from Vaishno Devi in August this year hit a petrol tanker on the national highway, injuring 25 people. The pigrims were on their way to Nepal via Bihar.
  • In June this year, three Buddha Amarnath pilgrims were killed after their vehicle fell into a gorge. The victims were on their way to Buddha Amarnath.
  • In May this year, 24 people died and 49 were injured in an accident near Udhampur district when an overcrowded bus fell into a 300-feet deep canyon. The casualties included 12 women, 10 men and two children. According to reports, the accident took place because of a mechanical fault in the vehicle.
  • In May 2014, 17 people were killed and several others injured when a bus fell into a canyon near Ramban district in Jammu. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the bus.
  • Seven people, including the pilot, were injured when a helicopter made an emergency landing at Trikuta hills in the Resai district of Jammu and Kashmir in December 2013. The helicopter, which was carrying pilgrims heading to Vaishno Devi, was stalled due to a technical fault.
  • In November 2012, 13 people were killed and 40 injured when a bus skidded off the road and fell in the gorge at Dudu in Udhampur. The accident occurred when the bus was on its way back from Basantgarh.
  • A truck carrying 34 pilgrims from Amarnath plunged into a gorge in J&K's Samba district in July 2012. The accident claimed the lives of 16 Amarnath pilgrims, and injured several others.

Text by Siddharth Sharma.

First published: 23 November 2015, 6:29 IST