21 killed as bus falls into deep gorge in Himachal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2013 16:00 IST

All 21 people travelling by a bus were killed when it skidded off the road and rolled down more than a 500-foot deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district.

The bus was on its way from Ucha Tikkar to Renuka.

This is the second major accident in the state in less than a week.

Deputy superintendent of police Khajana Ram told IANS that all bodies have been recovered, most of them badly mutilated, from the wreckage of the bus.

The bodies are being identified but almost all the victims hail from Uchha Takkar, Ransua-Jabrog and surrounding villages.

Ram said 19 people died on the spot. Among the dead 18 were males.

Deputy commissioner Vikas Labroo said the government has ordered a magisterial probe into the accident and has announced a relief of Rs.20,000 to the next of kin of the deceased.

The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, he added.

Official sources said bad condition of the road owing to recent heavy rains was mainly responsible for the accident.

Witnesses said the administration had a tough time in extricating the victims from the wreckage of the bus. Locals started the rescue operations well before the authorities could reach the spot.

Himachal bovernor Urmilla Singh, chief minister Virbhadra Singh, transport minister GS Bali and former speaker Ganguram Musafir expressed grief over tragedy and conveyed their condolences to bereaved families.

This is the second major accident in the state in less than a week. Ten people, including four women, died when a private vehicle fell into a gorge in Lahaul-Spiti district Sep 21.

The victims, from Kishtwar area in Jammu and Kashmir, were on a pilgrimage.

Police records say over 800 people die every year in Himachal Pradesh in road accidents.

Police have identified 556 accident-prone spots, including 210 on national highways.

(with inputs from IANS)


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