At least 23 people were killed and 28 were injured in an accident when a private transport bus fell into a deep gorge in Dhargala, Salooni tehsil of Chamba district.
Those killed include three women, 10 children and 10 men. All those who died were resident of villages near Salooni.
As many as 18 were reportedly killed on the spot while five others died at the Zonal Hospital in Chamba. Most of the 10 children killed are said to be below the age of 14.
The bus, with more than 50 passengers, was on its way to Chamba. “Preliminary investigation reveals that human error caused accident,” deputy commissioner Devesh Kumar told HT, over the telephone.
“The driver was busy talking on his mobile phone, when he lost control while trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle coming from the other side,” one of survivors told HT. The driver, Satissh Kumar reportedly survived because he jumped off the bus before it rolled into the gorge.