7 ITBP personnel dead in Chandanwari accident

Srinagar, Aug 16: Seven Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel died and 32 others including policemen were injured when their vehicle skidded off the road at Chandanwari in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday morning, officials said.

They said the accident took place as the driver allegedly lost control over the vehicle due to slippery road conditions caused by rain and the vehicle carrying 37 ITBP personnel and two policemen fell into a deep gorge between Pahalgam and Chandanwari.

While two ITBP men died on the spot, five succumbed to their injuries soon.

The injured personnel have been airlifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Condition of six are said to be critical.

The 37 ITBP and two Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel had just completed their Yatra duty on August 11.

A BSF helicopter airlifted the injured to Srinagar.

President Droupadi Murmu expressed grief over the death of the ITBP personnel.

Director General ITBP Dr Sujoy Lal Thaosen expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved.

“I'm deeply saddened by the tragic accident in J&K where 7 ITBP personnel lost lives. My heartfelt condolences to the family of the Bereaved. I stand with them in this hour of grief. We are taking care of the injured & wish for their speedy recovery,” Thaosen tweeted.

Officials said there were at least 39 security forces onboard the vehicle which was on its way to Pahalgam from Chandanwari. They were returning after attending to their duties in the annual Amarnath Yatra that ended last week.

Earlier in the day police said six ITBP men were killed in the accident. later the toll increased.

A tweet by the police earlier said: “In a road accident near Chandanwari Pahalgam in Anantnag district, 6 ITBP personnel got martyred while several others got injured, who are being airlifted to Army hospital, Srinagar for treatment."

Officials of the civil administration and security forces launched a massive rescue operation near the site of the accident to airlift the injured to Srinagar hospital for treatment.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a tweet expressed deep anguish “My condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. All possible assistance is being provided to the injured personnel,” the LG said. (UNI)