Eleven persons, including nine women and a six-month-old girl child, were killed and six others were injured seriously when the Tata pick-up van they were travelling in rolled down a 250-m deep gorge at Jarmjot near Nashala, 32 km from here, on Tuesday. The driver was also killed in the mishap.
The incident took place when the vehicle, which was on the way to Jaana village from Nashala, skidded off the road at 1pm.
The deceased have been identified as Nithu Devi, 50, Mohini, 45, Kusum Lata, 26, Devindra, 25, Kamla, 24, six-month-old Radhika, Dolma, 55, driver Hira Lal, 40, Nirmala, 34, Kamla, 26, and Besru, 33, all residents of Nathan village.
The injured have been identified as Fagli Devi, Chet Ram, Manoj Kumar, Lot Ram, Tikam Ram, and Izztu Devi, all residents of Nathan village. The van was carrying 17 persons.
The women had gone to Nashala village to purchase ration from the government depot. They had taken lift in the ill-fated vehicle. Sources said the vehicle was overloaded.
A police team immediately rushed to the site and started relief and rescue operations with the help of local villagers.
The bodies were retrieved and sent to the Naggar block hospital for postmortem examination.
A team of doctors was rushed to the spot to provide immediate medical aid to the injured.
The injured passengers were shifted to the block hospital at Naggar.
Transport minister GS Bali, local MLA Govind Singh Thakur, and Kullu SDM Viney Singh Thakur also rushed to the spot to supervise relief operations.
Bali said an immediate relief of Rs 5,000 would be provided to each of the injured and Rs 10,000 to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Governor Urmila Singh, the chief minister and Bali condoled the death of the women. Bali also visited the Naggar hospital to enquire the health of the injured villagers.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh directed to provide all possible assistance to the victims undergoing treatment at Naggar area and financial help to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Kullu SP Vinod Kumar Dhawan said a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC had been registered.