Fear and silence prevailed at Jaga Ram Tirath and Lelewala villages near Talwandi Sabo in this district on Friday as anxious residents awaited the information on the well-being of those who were travelling in the private bus that fell into the Parbati river in Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.
Villagers thronged the houses of those who were travelling on the bus to console the families. Villagers anxiously awaited information about their relatives. The village panchayat members and families of the passengers have rushed to Kullu.
Meanwhile, the district administration has declared six passengers dead. They are Baljit Kaur and Sher Singh of Lelewala village, Bant Kaur and Manjit Kaur of Jaga Ram Tirath and retired ASI Gurbaksh Singh and wife Angrej Kaur of Mehraj village. As many as 16 people from Jaga Ram Tirath and Lelewala villages are being reported missing.
Three persons, including two children, of a family from Jaga Ram Tirath village are missing.
Gurcharan Singh, brother of Balwant Singh, who along with daughter Manpreet Kaur and son Surpreet Singh was on the bus, said, “We have no information about the three. We have tried calling the helpline numbers, but to no avail. A team of panchayat members has been sent to Kullu but we are yet to get in touch with them.”
Near the house of Balwant Singh is the house of Gurdeep Singh, whose wife and mother Manjit Kaur were on the bus. Gurdeep hadn’t received any information about the family by Friday afternoon. Manjit Kaur was later declared dead by the administration.
Injured Kewal Singh’s niece Mandeep Kaur has been admitted to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, while his mother has been declared dead and his son Gursevak Singh is missing.
The Bathinda administration has set up helpline numbers 0164-2219 042 and 0164-2221 042 for the families to know about the accident and get other information. Teams of officials from Bathinda, Mansa and Barnala districts have been sent to Kullu to coordinate with the district administration to help the injured and bring back the bodies.