Thirteen people died in a road accident when a tourist bus fell into a deep gorge near Madhara Ghat, 8 km from Dadahu and 65 km from Nahan, district headquarters of Sirmaur.
The mishap occurred around 6.45 pm. The vehicle (UP-11-AT-0172) carrying more than 50 passengers, was on its way from the tourist town of Renukaji to Paonta Sahib. Superintendent of police, Sirmaur, Balbir Thakur said the bus driver could not negotiate the curve uphill, thus the vehicle began to move backwards and later fell into the gorge.
"The vehicle fell 120 metres down the nullah," said Thakur, who reached the accident spot. "The conductor's checklist confirmed that there were about 57 people in the bus," he said, adding that the driver could not be traced among the dead or the injured persons.
Two of the dead were identified as Kashmiri (65) and Raju (42).
Thakur said about three bodies were still stuck in the mangled remains of the bus.
Before the administration swung into action, villagers from Madhara Ghat rushed to the spot and began rescue efforts on their own. Till the filing of this report, 10 bodies had been retrieved, while the injured were shifted to the civil hospitals in Dadahu and Nahan.
A majority of the deceased are said to be residents of Saharanpur town and its surrounding areas in Uttar Pradesh. "Rescue efforts are underway," additional deputy commissioner Man Mohan Sharma told Hindustan Times. "We have made arrangements to shift the injured to nearby hospitals," said Sharma, who supervised the rescue operations.
Initially, 11 persons were shifted to the referral unit at Dadahu, while six persons were taken to Majra.
Transport minister GS Bali said, "This is very unfortunate. As per my knowledge, the driver took a wrong route, where road was very narrow. The state government will be providing every possible help to the injured, including free medical treatment."
May 26, 2014: 14 killed in road accident near Theog of Shimla district as government bus skids off road
April 8, 2014: 18 killed in private bus accident in Shillai (Sirmaur)
September 2013: 21 dead as private bus skidded off roads in Renuka (Sirmaur district)
May 8, 2013: Over 30 killed as overcrowded private bus plunges into Beas river at Jhiri on Kullu-Mandi national highway