At least 21 dead after bus plunges off of mountain

SRINAGAR, India – A devastating bus accident took the lives of 21 Hindu pilgrims in Indian-governed Kashmir on Thursday when their vehicle plunged into a canyon along a precarious mountain highway, according to officials. Alongside the fatalities, 35 additional passengers were left nursing injuries, some of whom are in critical condition, stated local health officer Akhnoor Saleem Khan.

The ill-fated bus was thrown into an abyss measuring approximately 150 feet (45.7 meters) deep during its journey in the Jammu region. Officials are currently undertaking an investigation to establish the reason for the grisly crash.

The bus was transporting passengers who were making their way towards the sacred Shiv Khori temple located in Jammu’s Reasi area, informed Rajinder Singh, the head of state transportation.

Horrendous road traffic accidents are all-too-familiar episodes in India, with numbers surpassing most other nations in terms of annual road fatalities. Reckless driving, deteriorating road conditions, and the prevalence of old vehicles often draw blame for the multitude of accidents happening each year.

A chilling reminder of India’s poor safety regulations came in 2022, when an over 100-year-old suspension bridge in western India fell into a river, taking hundreds of lives along with it. This horrendous event, resulting in at least 132 deaths, counts amongst the most severe accidents India saw over the last ten years.