4 dead, 20 injured as bus carrying Vaishno Devi pilgrims catches fire on way to Jammu
Jammu/IBNS: Four passengers were killed and at least 20 others received injuries when a bus they were travelling in caught fire near Katra in Jammu on Friday, the police said.
The passengers of the bus were pilgrims returning from the Vaishno Devi. The bus was on way to Jammu from Katra, which is the base camp to start the journey to the Vaishno Devi shrine.
Confirming the deaths, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said the initial probe does not indicate any use of explosives.
The police said the forensic experts were immediately rushed to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his grief over the loss of lives and also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
"Extremely pained by the loss of lives in the tragic bus incident in Katra. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. Directed district administration to ensure the best possible treatment to the injured," the office of L-G J&K tweeted.
Extremely pained by the loss of lives in the tragic bus incident in Katra. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. Directed district administration to ensure best possible treatment to the injured.— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) May 13, 2022
He also announced compensation to kins of those who lost their lives and also to the ones who received grave injuries.
An ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the unfortunate bus incident in Katra. Rs. 1 Lakh would be given to those seriously injured.— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) May 13, 2022
This is the second major tragedy linked to the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage this year.
On Jan 1, 12 pilgrims were killed and 20 others were injured during a stampede incident, which happened after an uncontrolled large crowd reached gate number 3 of Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan.