Banihal: A mini-bus carrying tourists turned turtle inside the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Tuesday, leaving the 18-year-old driver dead and 20 travellers injured, officials said.
The tourists from Uttar Pradesh were returning from the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and were on their way to Srinagar to enjoy snowfall when the driver lost control inside the west tube of the four-lane tunnel around 4.30 pm due to over-speeding, the officials said.
They said driver Tariq Ahmed, a resident of Udhampur, died on the spot, while 20 tourists were injured and rushed to the nearby Banihal and Qazigund hospitals. They said 11 of the injured were later discharged after treatment while three are in ”serious” condition, the officials said.
They said the tourists had visited the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills and offered their prayers before deciding to go to Kashmir to witness snowfall.