At least 40 people have been feared killed and 39 injured in two separate bus accidents in Tehri and Uttarkashi districts of Uttarakhand on Friday.
In the first accident, a bus carrying nearly 50 passengers plunged into the Bhagirathi river at 7:30 am in Sarigad, about 4 km from Bhatwadi in Uttarkashi district.
According to the survivors, the driver of the bus lost control and it fell into the river. Till late afternoon, the district administration pulled out four bodies from the river. Thirteen people were rescued.
Nearly 30-35 passengers are yet to be traced.
“The bus was plying from Uttarkashi to Gangotri and was carrying several kanwariyas (devotees of Lord Shiva), seven armymen and six teachers when the mishap took place,” said Uttarkashi District Magistrate Purshottam, who goes by one name.
The survivors who sustained minor injuries were taken to a hospital for treatment. Rescue operations are underway to locate other passengers.
“We have employed the services of divers from Chamba and Srinagar. Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel are also helping in the rescue efforts,” Purshottam said.
In the second accident, a bus carrying 37 passengers from Garhwal plunged into a deep gorge near Madhavchatti in Dev prayag area of Tehri district, resulting in 11 casualties.
“The accident occurred at around 9.45 am and we have been able to rescue 26 people. Also, bodies of 11 passengers have been recovered,” informed Sachin Purohit, District Magistrate, Tehri.