Sixteen Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 16 others injured when a truck carrying them plunged into a deep gorge in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir late on Thursday night.

The truck carrying 34 pilgrims, who were engaged in setting a community kitchen at Amarnath, was returning back when it skidded off the road and rolled down deep into the gorge near Zamoorha Morh in Mansar belt of Samba district, about 50 kilometres from Jammu city at 2330 hours last night, police said.

After getting information, Police, Army and BSF rushed to the spot.

16 injured pilgrims were rushed to the Government Medical College in Jammu.

Police said 9 pilgrims died on the spot and seven others succumbed to their injuries on the way to the hospital.

Two other pilgrims on the vehicle who sustained minor injuries were discharged after first-aid.

This was second major accident involving Amarnath yatris in Jammu region this month. 15 pilgrims were killed when a SRTC bus bringing them back from the yatra had rolled down into a gorge near Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on the night of July 14.