New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday expressed grief over the death of 16 Amarnath pilgrims in an accident on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
She asked officials to ensure the best possible treatment for the injured and ordered immediate airlifting of those seriously hurt.
Around 27 people were injured, 19 of them critically in the accident on Sunday.
Mehbooba also directed officials to speedily release the ex-gratia amount for of the next of kin of the deceased.
She directed the Jammu Divisional administration to make arrangements for sending the bodies of the deceased pilgrims to their homes, the spokesman said.
Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah also expressed grief and shock over the tragic accident.
Meanwhile, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar announced ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakhs for next of kin of five persons from Bihar killed in Ramban bus accident.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (PTI/File Photo)
Another tragedy struck on the Amarnath pilgrims on Sunday when a bus, enroute Pahalgam, carrying them fell into a deep gorge.
Reportedly, as many as 16 people have been killed and more than 30 injured.
A rescue operation by the Army was underway.
This incident comes days after as many as seven people were killed and fifteen others injured after a group of terrorists opened fire on a bus carrying 17 pilgrims from Baltal to Mir Bazar earlier last week.
The 90th and 40th battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed at the spot to prevent further untoward incidents thereafter.
Only this morning one of the injured succumbed to her injuries taking the death toll to eight.
The brutal attack on the innocent pilgrims invited the wrath of all political parties, even as the entire world jointly condemned the incident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee also strongly condemned the incident.
J-K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti summoned an emergency meeting of her cabinet to review the security situation across the state.
(With inputs from agencies)