A Haryana Roadways Volvo bus fell into a 200-foot-deep gorge at Datiyar near Parwanoo on Kalka-Shimla highway on Tuesday, leaving two dead and six injured. The accident occurred around 12.30 pm after the bus driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle.
One of the deceased was identified as Satinder Bhan, a resident of Thane (Maharashtra), while the other deceased was yet to be identified. Bus driver Jitender and bus conductor Pankaj along with passengers Birbal Tahim, Kavita, Ranveer Singh and Tejinder Kaur suffered injuries.
According to the Parwanoo police, the accident happened around 12.30 pm when the Chandigarh-bound bus was coming from Shimla. Being driven at a high speed, the bus was supposed to take a right turn. But the driver lost control of the vehicle and it fell into the gorge, the police said.
Soon, the locals went down the gorge and helped in rescuing the passengers. A call was made to the police and on 108 for ambulance as well. “We received a call at 12.43 pm about the accident. We reached the spot in about six minutes. All the passengers were taken to the hospital by 2.15 pm,” said a staff member of the ambulance.
Varun Bhandari, an eyewitness to the accident, said, “The accident occurred right in front of my eyes while I was driving uphill towards Shimla. The bus was coming at a very high speed. After the driver lost control of the vehicle, the bus skidded for about 20 metres, rammed into the protection barrier on the road and fell into the gorge.”
He added, “I was in a shudder when the accident happened. Before I saw the bus fall into the gorge, I was driving my car at 90 km/hr.”
Of the many locals who helped in rescuing the passengers were Govind and his nephew Raju, both taxi drivers. “We were on our way ferrying customers towards Solan. We got to know about the accident as we saw a large number of people on one side of the road. It took us about 20 minutes to go down the gorge through thick bushes and plants. However, we managed to rescue two passengers and brought them up on our backs,” said Govind.
All the eight passengers were taken to ESI Hospital, Parwanoo. Satinder, 50, and the unidentified woman, around 40, were declared dead on arrival. Ranveer, 24, and Kavita, 25, who are siblings, suffered minor injuries while Tejinder, 26, Birbal, 24, Jitender, 32, and Pankaj, 32, were critically injured and were referred to PGI.
Jitender, Pankaj and Tejinder who suffered multiple injuries were in critical condition while Birbal was stable, said the doctors.
A case was registered against the bus driver.
With inputs from Girish Sharma