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Uttarakhand bus accident: 12-year-old boy doesn’t know that he lost his parents

48 people were killed when a 28-seater bus carrying about 58 persons fell into an 80m-deep gorge in Pauri district of Uttarakhand on Sunday.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2018 23:29 IST
Kalyan Das
Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times, Bhouni (Pauri Garhwal)
Uttarakhand,Uttarakhand bus accident,Sanguri village
Nanda Devi, 85, (left), grandmother of 12-year-old Vivek, who lost both of his parents and his uncle and aunt in the tragedy.(HT Photo)

Vivek, 12, was on his way back to Delhi with his parents and two relatives when the bus they were travelling in fell into a gorge near Sanguri village in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district on Sunday. He survived while 48 others including his parents, uncle and aunt were not as lucky.

Vivek was undergoing treatment at a Haldwani hospital on Monday, unaware of the tragedy that has befallen him.

Vivek’s grandmother, Nanda Devi, 85, said they have not mustered the courage to tell Vivek about the tragedy.

Vivek had arrived in their native Bhouni village last week along with his parents, Bharat and Suman Dev, 35, and the extended family to attend a religious function. They stayed for five days before taking the bus from Bhouni to Ramnagar en route to Delhi on Sunday. Vivek’s uncle, Narendra Singh, 47, and aunt, Bina Devi, 40, too were killed in the accident.

Bharat and Narendra lived in Delhi with their families and worked for courier companies.

Devi said Bharat and Narendra were the main bread-earners for the family as she fought back tears. “I had four sons… among them, the eldest one had left the house many years ago…”

Bharat and Narendra’s brother, Girish, who also works for a courier company in Delhi, was in Bhouni as well for the religious function. He was returning to Delhi on a separate bus on Sunday, which he had boarded at Kotdwar. He returned to Bhouni after coming to know about the accident and the death of his brothers and their wives.

Devi’s nephew, Kalam Singh, blamed the government for the poor condition of the road along which the accident happened. “The people of this village along with the nearby ones have written to the local administration on many occasions to repair the road from Apola to Ramnagar. But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears,’’ he said. He said they will not allow buses to ply unless the administration repairs it.

Kamal said the tragedy has left Devi to fend for herself. “Now God knows how will this house run. Who will now take care of their mother’s medical expenses… She (the mother) is completely shattered and has not eaten anything since yesterday (Sunday).”

First Published: Jul 02, 2018 23:29 IST