5 pilgrims crushed to death by bus in Uttarakhand’s Champawat
Police said four died on the spot and one pilgrim succumbed to his injuries later, while seven were injured and have been admitted to the government hospital in Tanakpur
Five pilgrims, including three women, lost their lives and at least seven others were severely injured after they came under a bus, police said.
Police said the incident took place in Thuligarh village in Uttarakhand’s Champawat district on Thursday morning when the pilgrims were returning from Maa Purnagiri fair.
The deceased and injured were from the Badaun and Bahraich districts of Uttar Pradesh who had come to the Maa Purnagiri fair in Tanakpur, police said. Thousands of pilgrims visit daily to offer their prayers at Maa Purnagiri shrine situated on a cliff near the Indo-Nepal border.
Police said that the accident took at the parking spot when the driver of a private bus was parking the bus. The bus, instead of stopping, moved forward towards a slope crushing a dozen pilgrims who came under it, police said.
Also Read: Three killed, at least 5 injured in Vizag building collapse
Police said while four died on the spot, one pilgrim succumbed to his injuries later, and seven were injured who have been admitted to the government hospital in Tanakpur.
Police have identified the deceased as Maya Ram, 29, Badarinath, 43, and Ramdei, 30 (all from Sohrao of Bahraich), Netrawati, 20, and Amarawati, 26, (both from Bilsi in Badaun district).
Uttarakhand women empowerment and child development minister Rekha Arya, who was to participate in a program at Saras fair organised in Tanakpur on Thursday, on hearing about the tragic accident, reached the hospital along with the administration to take stock of the situation.
Apart from Arya, police commissioner Deepak Rawat, district magistrate (DM) Narendra Singh Bhandari, and superintendent of police (SP) Amit Srivastava also reached the hospital to meet the injured.
“I spoke to the district magistrates of Budaun and Bahraich and informed them about the accident. We will provide vehicles to relatives to carry the injured and the bodies of the deceased to their homes. ₹ 1-lakh will be provided to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹ 50,000 to the injured as ex-gratia relief,” said Bhandari, Champawat DM.
The administration and police will ensure such incidents do not happen in the future in the fair area, he added.
Meanwhile, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed grief on the accident and advised the hospital to provide the best possible treatment to the injured pilgrims.