The bus accident in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district on Thursday spread panic in villages in Mansa, Barnala and Bathinda districts as most passengers hailed from these districts.
The private bus with nearly 55 passengers was on its way to the Sikh shrine of Manikaran when it skidded off the road and fell into Parbati
As per reports, 11 passengers are from Jaga Rama Tirath village near Bathinda. There was, however, no confirmation regarding any casualty. Talwandi Sabo sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Vanit Kumar said the picture would be clear by Friday only.
AAP leader Baljinder Kaur of Jaga Ram Tirath claimed 11 villagers were on the bus. There were also reports of some passengers from Lelewala village on the bus. Village sarpanch Major Singh said the exact number of passengers from the village couldn’t be verified.
Sources said around 19 bus passengers are from different villages in Mansa. As the reports of the mishap poured in, district administration officials reached Joga village from where around 12 persons were aboard the ill-fated vehicle.
“As per our information, there are 12 people from Joga, six from Makha and one from Aklia on the bus. The remaining passengers are from Bathinda. We are making a list of people who were on way to Manikaran,” said Mansa SDM Rakesh Kumar.
A tense atmosphere prevailed in Joga with many families enquiring about the well-being of relatives. “My son Mandeep Singh, studying in Barnala, is also on that bus. I’m not sure where he is right now,” said villager Kamaljeet Kaur. Officials have confirmed putting 21 people in a Kullu hospital.
Malkit Singh, owner of the transport company Guru Kirpa Roadways to which the bus belonged, said: “The driver, Surjit Singh, is among those injured. He is from Amla Singh Wala village in Barnala. I have talked to medical authorities in Kullu.
They have told me that the driver is in unconscious state. Barnala SDM Amarvir Singh Sidhu said: “The information we have right now is sketchy as details are still pouring in.”