17 labrouers were killed on the spot and two injured on Tuesday when the vehicle carrying them skidded off the road and rolled down a 200-ft-deep gorge near Spillo in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district. The incident occurred at around 12.45 pm.
Kinnaur superintendent of police Veena Bharti said most of the labrouers, who hailed from Jharkhand and Bihar, worked for the General Engineering Reserve Force (GREF), a wing of the Border Roads Organisation that maintains the Hindustan-Tibet highway.
While 17 died on the spot, one of the injured was referred to district hospital of Rekong Peo, said Bharti.
The incident occured some 30 km from the district headquarters Rekong Peo, she added.
The labourers were returning to Spillo in the GREF tipper. “Due to heavy snowfall in Pooh, the labourers were sent back to their base camp in Spillo. The tipper in which they were traveling was about 100 metres away from Spillo when it met with the accident,” she said.
The deceased have been identified as Kulbhushan (driver), Mahavir Oran, Krishan Pal, Gopal Singh, Labza Oran, Suresh Singh, Arjun Pan, Birsa Munda, Sukhnath Munda, Rajesh Khare, Mohan Singh, Rajesh Thirti, Senu Pan, Birsa Pan, Ram Lal, Kunal Bhardwaj.
While, seriously injured Giridhar was shifted to Rekong Peo, Suna Oran was discharged after first aid at the community health centre, Spillo.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed grief over the accident. Kinnaur MLA Tejwant Negi also expressed grief over the incident.