Two elderly persons from Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh died after a bus carrying pilgrims overturned near Raipur Rani town of Panchkula district on Saturday. Twenty passengers, including nine women, were injured while one woman was referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
The bus was carrying around 40 people hailing from Mandi district, who were part of a religious trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath in Uttarakhand. The bus had started its journey from Jogindernagar on Friday evening.
“Bus driver Inaam Khan had not slept since the previous night. After around 11 hours of journey at 3.30 am on Saturday, he reportedly felt drowsy and lost control over the vehicle. The bus hit a tree, skidded off the road and fell into a dry pond,” said Dee-pak Rai, the organiser of the 14-day tour.
Raman Singh and Chattar Singh died on the spot. Raman Singh’s wife Sunni Devi was referred to the PGIMER, where she was reported to be out of danger. She suffered a fracture in her arm.
Raman Singh (63) was a resident of Hiuin village and a retired teacher. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Chattar Singh (62) was a resident of Ladwana village and had retired from the public health department. He is survived by his wife.
The post mortem was conducted and the bodies were sent to the family members.
Injured Leela Devi (59), a resident of Tando village, who was travelling with five family members, said, “I was sleeping when the bus hit a tree and shards of glass came flying towards us. Then the bus went off the road and overturned.”
“The driver is responsible for the accident and is absconding. We have registered a case under Section 279 (rash driving) and Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC,” said sub-inspector Balbir Singh, the investigating officer in the case.
Meanwhile, trip organiser Deepak Rai added, “I am a registered travel agent and have been organising such trips since the past 15 years. This is the first time that an accident has taken place.”