At least twelve passengers were killed and 23 others were injured, 11 of them seriously, when an overloaded minibus in which they travelling skidded off the road and fell into a very deep gorge in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Thursday.

According to reports, the accident took place near Barari Ballah Sawjian just near Line of Control (LoC) when the driver of the ill-fated bus bearing registration number JK12-1419 lost control over it. The bus skidded off the road and rolled several hundred meters into the gorge.

Soon after the accident, rescue operations were carried out with the help of the Army, Jammu and Kashmir police, and local people.

Kishtwar accident
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Reports said that nine people died on the spot, while three seriously injured passengers died in the hospital or on the way. About 23 people are said to be injured right now. Of these, six seriously injured people have been airlifted to Government Medical College Jammu.

According to information received from local sources, the bus was overloaded. The bus had a seating capacity of 29 passengers but 35 passengers were travelling in the ill-fated vehicle.

Poonch accident
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President, Prime Minister, LG express grief over the accident

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha have expressed grief over the accident.
"The loss of lives in a tragic road accident in Sawjian, Poonch is deeply distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery of the injured", President tweeted.

"The loss of lives due to an accident in Poonch is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery. Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured", Prime Minister, Narendra Modi tweeted.
At the same time, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, expressing his deep sorrow over the Poonch road accident, has announced Rs 5 lakh as a relief amount to the kin of the deceased. He also directed to provide better health facilities to other passengers injured in this road accident in Poonch.

Manoj Sinha, who is already in Poonch, visited the district hospital, Poonch to enquire about the health of civilians who were injured in the accident today.