AT LEAST 10 persons were killed and 55 injured, seven of them seriously, when a private bus carrying skidded off the road and rolled down into a deep gorge near Dhaliara (Dehra) in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh Thursday.
The bus, belonging to New Malwa Bus Service, was ferrying pilgrims to Jwalamukhi after they visited the well-known Chintpurni temple in Una. Some of the deceased were identified as: Shiv Kumar, 40, a resident of Hairpura, Charan Kaur, 53, of Amritsar, Santosh, 60, of Gumrah Mohalla, Amritsar. The others are yet to be identified.
Kangra Superintendent of Police (SP) Kangra Sanjiv Gandhi said of the 10 who died, two were women and the others men. As many as 32 of the injured were referred to Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College,Tanda, while rest are being treated at Government Hospital, Dehra. The injured included eight children and 24 men.
The SP said the driver of the ill-fated bus could not negotiate a curve at a steep descent because of speed. “The spot falls in an accident-prone stretch,” he added. “Most of the victims are villagers from Amritsar district. The bus had started from Amirtsar around 11 pm Wednesday and had covered an overnight journey to Chintpurni temple, where they reached around 5 am Thursday,” said Gandhi Chief secretary V C Pharka said rescue teams, along with police and medical staff, reached the spot soon after the accident.
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed deep grief over the incident. Virbhadra Singh also expressed his condolences to the families and hoped for swift recovery of the injured. He also directed the district administration to provide all possible assistance to the injured.
The district administration shifted all the injured to the Tanda Medical College and Hospital and Rs 10,000 was provided to each of them as immediate relief. Arrangements were made by the administration to shift the dead bodies after identification.