Five people were feared dead and five others were injured as landslides triggered by incessant rains lashed Jammu region blocking Jammu-Srinagar and Batote-Doda national highways on Thursday.
Giving details, sources said that a Jammu bound TATA Sumo carrying eight people from Shopian fell into a swollen nullah after it was hit by shooting stones near Gangroo. Rescue operations launched by the police and para military personnel managed to fish out a body and rescue four others in injured condition till evening. Of the injured, one succumbed to injuries at the hospital, while remaining three passengers were reportedly missing.
The police identified the deceased as Mohammad Sikander Mir and Hajat Mir, besides the missing ones Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Hussain Mir and Ashraf Bhat, all residents of Shopian. Three injured have been identified as Ghulam Mohammad Mir, Reyaz Mir, both brothers, besides driver of the ill-fated vehicle Manzoor Ahmed.
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Meanwhile, SHO Ramsu Police Station Mohammad Amin Malik who rushed to Gangroo after hearing about the accident had a narrow escape, while two cops accompanying him got injured when a shooting stone hit their gypsy at the same place. The vehicle was badly damaged and the injured were rushed to a hospital.
The vehicular traffic between Jammu-Srinagar and Batote-Doda were suspended as landslides triggered by heavy rains blocked both the roads at various places. According to Traffic Police Control Room at Ramban, the road to Valley was blocked at Battery Chasma, Panthiyal, Sher Bibi and Gangroo.
As it was still raining and reports of shooting stones still pouring in, no Srinagar and Jammu bound vehicles will be allowed to move onward from Nagrota and Qazigund, respectively. The decision has been taken keeping in mind that there are already stranded vehicles that have led to traffic jam at various places along the highway.
Apart from landslides at Khelani, there were also reports of shooting stones from various places along the Batote-Doda road, making the authorities suspend vehicular traffic from both sides.
The vehicular traffic on the Surankote-Poonch road also was suspended as approach road to the temporary Bailey bridge constructed near Sher-i-Kashmir bridge on the outskirts of border township was inundated. The commuters were now diverted to Kalai bridge near Nangali Sahib.
The continuous rains dropped day’s temperature across the region forcing people bring out their woolens once again. There were reports of fresh snowfall also on higher palces in the region.