20 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims injured in bus accident
20 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims injured in bus accident

SRI NAGAR: As many as 20 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were injured after the bus they were travelling in, met with an accident in Jammu & Kashmir’s Qazigund on Thursday.

At the Badragund crossing on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Qazigund, a tipper dumper struck a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra passengers, said police. As per latest account,  45 people have been injured and 15 people have died.

The incident occurred three days after the Amarnath Yatra had resumed after a brief suspension due to flash floods brought on by a cloudburst that devastated the pilgrim encampment set up close to the sacred cave and killed 16 people.

On Thursday, a group of more than 5,000 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp to make prayers at the 3,880-meter-high sacred cave sanctuary of Amarnath, officials said. In the early hours, they said, the 15th batch, which included 5,449 pilgrims, departed towards the twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in a convoy of 201 vehicles.

The officials said, at around 3.20 am, 1,666 pilgrims, including 536 women and 43 children, headed for Baltal in 61 cars. At around 4.20 am, a second convoy of 140 vehicles carrying 3,783 pilgrims, including 702 women, 103 sadhus, and 54 children, left the Bhagwati Nagar camp.

Despite a three-day stoppage following flash floods on July 8 that claimed 16 lives, over 1.45 lakh pilgrims have so far offered their prayers at the cave temple where the ice-shivlingam was naturally formed.

Since the first group of pilgrims was flagged off by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on June 29, a total of 88,526 have departed the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley. The yatra, which is set to culminate on August 11 in honour of Shravan Purnima, which falls on the same day as Raksha Bandhan.

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