As many as 12 persons died, and four are missing after a private bus skidded off the road and plunged into a rivulet in Tissa area of Churah subdivision in Chamba district on Wednesday.
According to police sources a private bus carrying over 15 passengers plunged into a rivulet around 8:30 in the morning at Shikari Mod near Tissa, some 65kms from Chamba town.
"Bodies of 12 people have been fished out of the swollen rivulet, while four persons are still missing," said Superintendent of Police, Chamba Madhu Sudan Sharma.
The ill-fated vehicle was on its way from Tissa to Dalhousie. The bus had covered just 10kms from Tissa when it skidded off the road and plunged into the water.
As per information provided by the injured who is the lone survivor in the accident, there were about 17 passengers on board. However, the number of casualties could increase as the rivulet was in spate at the time of accident. Deputy Commissioner Chamba, Sharab Negi said, the victims of the accident, which include 10 men and two women, belong to the nearby area of Tissa.
"The exact cause of the accident is not known but prima facie rash and negligent driving is the main reason of accident," Negi said. The government has ordered a probe into the accident.
The diseased have been identified as Janak Raj, Jai Pal, Des Raj, Chunni Lal, Kishan Chand, Ajay Verma, Dhani Ram, Anek Ram, Karam Singh, Palo, Mamta and Kamlesh Kapoor while Sanju, Punnu, Ashwani and Hem Raj were still missing.
Meanwhile, Governor, Urmila Singh and chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal have expressed grief over demise of people in the accident.
The governor mourned the loss of lives in the accident and extended her condolences to the bereaved family members.
It is noteworthy that the roads in Chamba have turned into killer roads as over 30 lives have been lost in three major accidents in the current year.
As many as 10 people had died and 28 were injured on April, 4 this year when a bus carrying them had rolled down a deep gorge some 25 kms from district headquarter while in an another accident 10 tourists from Delhi died when a Tempo Traveler carrying them rolled down a deep gorge on Khajjiar-Chamba road on May 16.