Seventeen labrouers were killed and two injured when a tipper carrying them skided off the road and fell into a 200-ft deep gorge near Spillo, a sub-division of Pooh, in Kinnaur district on Tuesday. The incident occurred at around 12.45pm.
According to Kinnaur superintendent of police Veena Bharti, most of the labrouers hailed from Jharkhand and Bihar, who worked for the General Engineering Reserve Force (GREF), a wing of the Border Roads Organisation that maintains the Hindustan-Tibet highway.
Seventeen persons died on the spot, while one of the two injured, was referred to district hospital, Rekong Peo, she added.
Bharti disclosed that the accident occurred at about 30 km from Rekong Peo, the district headquarters.
The labourers were returning to Spillo in the GREF tipper. "With 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.
CM expresses grief
Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed grief over the death of 17 labourers of General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF). In his condolence message, the CM prayed the Almighty to give peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved family members to bear the irreparable loss. Kinnaur MLA Tejwant Negi also expressed grief over the incident.