Jammu, 14 Sep (KTNS):The death toll in a minibus accident in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir has mounted to 17 after four more injured passengers succumbed, officials said.

Today at about 9:10 am, one matador on its way from Keshwan to Kishtwar rolled down into gorge at Thakrai under the jurisdiction of  police station Kishtwar. Seventeen passengers died while 16 were injured.11 injured were airlifted to Jammu,” police said on Twitter.

The accident occurred at Dandaran, near Thakrai, when the driver of the mini bus, which was on its way to Kishtwar from the Keshwan area, lost control of it and the vehicle plunged into the over-300-foot gorge, near the Chenab riverbed, on Friday morning.

The bus was carrying over 30 passengers, he said, adding that the rescue operation was launched immediately after the accident.

Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana said the district administration was making efforts to airlift eight critically injured passengers to Jammu.

“The next of the kin of the deceased will be given an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh each, while Rs 50,000 will be given to each of the injured persons,” Rana said.

This is the third major accident in Kishtwar district in the last one month.

While 13 Machail Yatra devotees were killed when their cab plunged into a gorge on August 21, seven persons were killed and 12 others injured when two vehicles were hit by boulders a day earlier.