The rescue act!
By: M S Nazki
The Sunday morning crash was bad as the bus overturned? It was loaded considerably which should not have been the case!
- We all know that the National Highway is prone to accidents and especially so is the Ramban-Banihal belt where several accidents have taken place in the past.
- Vehicles have fallen into gorges, hit by landslides, head on crashes, rolling boulders and people getting killed are not uncommon.
- The road as such is a bit of dice loaded as it winds along curves and acute turns and moves to the valley and on coming back to Jammu.
- A little error in judgment and the flowing Chenab deep in the ravines would be the next destination on the four wheels.
- It has happened in the past and one need not be reminded of the accidents that have taken place. They were all gory and grotesque. Some survived to tell the tales of the horror they saw and the others perished.
- Places like Ramban itself, Panthial, Khooni Nala (remember the name) and Sher Bibi are all dangerous accident spots.
- Khooni Nala right from the inception of this Banihal Cart Road (the actual name of the National Highway-I) has been a place where many accidents have taken place and they are mostly due to the rolling boulders and shooting stones. That is the reason as to why a tunnel like structure had been constructed in the past right at the foot hill to ward off accidents. It was later that a massive bridge came up with a wired mesh net. Whether it has been repaired or not I do not know but when the last time I saw it ten years back it was in a terrible state, of course weather beaten all the way.
- Though scenery wise the stretch is wonderful for the eyes but some terrible things have happened here in the form of accidents here.
- On Sunday morning yet another one took place. It was indeed bad but the same could have been worse.
I will tell you something about this road. One moment the road is there, wide open and safe, the next there could be loud noises, acrid smells and pain that you may or may not recover from. A vehicle crash comes as a shock and that is an aspect the movies and novels aren’t good at showing. It is the equivalent of looking without seeing, a form of emotional blindness. I told you about an error in judgment to negotiate. For this the reasons are many but I will not harp upon that.
I. What happened on Sunday morning:
- The laborers and the children were packed up in a bus making the payload to 76 personnel out of which 55 were men and women and 21 children and they were all stacked up in a bus. Over load would be in focus here.
- The bus carrying them overturned at Khooni Nallah (I was just talking about that). A boy’s limb was amputated and seven other migrant laborers were injured.
- The bus bearing registration no JK02 BA/ 1881 was on way from Lakhanpur to Budgam where it had to drop the laborers when it met with the accident.
*Reports said the driver fled from the spot after the accident. That was not a surprise as in this case and several times before also it has happened when the first thing the driver and conductor do is fleeing from the spot and leaving the passengers in a helpless state.
- Medical Superintendent at DH Ramban, Dr Abdul Hameed Zargar confirmed that eight people injured in the accident were brought to the hospital. Of them, six have been shifted to GMC Jammu, Dr Zargar.
- He also said that the arm of the boy had to be amputated because it was a necessity since it was in a mutilated state.
- This should not have happened but it had to and thus landed people in dismay.
II. The rescue act:
- it could have been worse had the Road Opening Party of the Territorial Battalion (TA) under White Knight Corps based at Ramban not arrived in time and got things going the situation would have turned worse.
- Thereafter everyone, especially the Police, authorities in District Hospital Ramban was informed and thus arrived the Ramban Police. Both the men of Army and Police carried on with the rescue by pulling out people from the overturned bus.
- The injured were immediately shifted to Ramban for treatment and then six were evacuated to GMC Jammu.
It was a timely act because passengers in a bus in the middle as a turned turtle is a terrifying sight saving humans is the obvious priority. The forces yet again lived up to their motto, ‘We Care’.
The whole thing was just freaky like all accidents are, but this one was a bus on the roads with the wheels turned to heavens. One can well imagine the condition of the people traveling. They must be choking, before anyone mobilized to help. It was some kind of a bizarre nightmare for them but the men in their respective uniforms arrived in time. It was an accident, but barring aside the eight the rest are safe. But this morbid incident they will not forget, especially so the kid who lost his arm!