Kedarnath Helicopter Crash: 5 Recent Accidents That Killed Pilgrims

The helicopter crash in Uttarakhand adds to the series of accidents that have happened in the recent past, where scores of pilgrims across India have died in accidents. 

Vaishno Devi shrine pilgrims

As many as seven people including two pilots were killed in a helicopter crash on Tuesday in Uttarakhand. The helicopter was carrying pilgrims from Guptkashi to Kedarnath and it burst into flames after crashing near Jungle Chatti. 

The region is extremely vulnerable to chopper crashes due to weather changes and difficult terrain, experts have said. 

However, the recent crash adds to the series of accidents that have happened in the recent past, where scores of pilgrims across India have died due to accidents. 

Pilgrims killed in Hazaribagh bus crash 

In October, four pilgrims from Odisha died in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh after a bus, they were travelling in, rammed into a fruit-laden truck near Bahimar ghat at Katkamsandi. As many as 44 people were returning from a pilgrimage from Varanasi in the bus that was en route to Mayurbhanj when the incident happened. 

Following the mishap, the Hazaribagh district administration arranged accommodation for the victims at Prayas near Murgabadi. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the death of the pilgrims and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

Pilgrims die in Uttarakhand bus accident 

In June, at least 24 pilgrims died after a bus, carrying them, fell into a gorge near Damta on the Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district. The bus had around 30 pilgrims from the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh and a driver. 

It was reported that the driver fell asleep at the wheel as that was his third trip without any rest. Besides the driver and the helper, there were 28 passengers on the bus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Uttarakhand Governor Gurmit Singh expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and announced relief to the families of the deceased and the injured people. 

Pilgrims die during Amarnath Yatra

In July, a tragedy struck the Amarnath Yatra when a bus carrying pilgrims met with an accident in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district. At least eight people were injured during the mishap. Six of them were administered first-aid at a hospital in the area and the other two were shifted to the district hospital in Anantnag. 

The bus was en route to the Baltal base camp with around 40 pilgrims. The driver lost control of the vehicle on the national highway near Nussu Badergund in Qazigund and hit a tipper dumper moving in the same direction.

Vaishnodevi pilgrims met with an accident 

At least four people were killed and 20 were reportedly injured after a bus they were travelling in caught fire near Katra in Jammu in May, early this year. The passengers were Vaishno Devi pilgrims who were travelling from Katra to Jammu. 

As per the preliminary investigation, the blaze started in the engine area and soon engulfed the whole bus. No use of explosives was detected and the police said that the forensic experts were immediately rushed to ascertain the cause of the fire.

Pilgrims die in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur

At least 22 people were killed and several critically injured when a tractor-trolley overturned and fell into a pond near a village in the Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh in October, this year. The incident occurred near Bhadeuna village located within the Saar police station limits, he added.

The tractor-trolley, carrying about 50 people, was on its way to Ghatampur after the passengers attended a "mundan" ceremony at the Chandrika Devi temple in Fatehpur. More than a dozen people were killed on the spot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the incident.