At least eight pilgrims were killed and over a dozen injured when a private bus coming down from Hoshiarpur to Chintpurni developed a snag in its brakes and ran over them. The accident happened near chohal dam on the highway at 5:15 pm. All those killed are yet to be identified except one.
Out of those who were injured, four have been referred to PGI, Chandigarh, while 11 are admitted in Civil Hospital, Hoshiarpur.
Deputy Commissioner Hoshiarpur Anandita Mitra rushed to hospital while other officials rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. DC said that government has announced Rs. 50,000 for injured and Rs. 1 lakh for the kin of deceased.
The bus was coming from Chintpurni to Hoshiarpur; the brakes of bus failed, and ran into pedestrians, some of who were sitting on the roadside. Six died on the spot.
Notably due to ongoing Melas (Fares) of Chintpurni Mata, there was a huge rush of the devotees on this road. All those killed were going to Mata Chintpurni on foot and were having a roadside “langar” (community food) being served by the local residents of Hoshiarpur to the devotees passing on this road.
Eye witnesses Hemant Walia informed that the bus went out of control as it could not negotiate the turn near Kuli mor (Kuli turn) and mowed down all the pedestrian standing on roadside.
“The bus stopped because of a big stone lying there on the roadside which it got stuck to its wheel,” said another eyewitness Kamal Kumar.
SSP Hoshiarpur said that Kuldip Singh Chahal said that they were identifying the deceased and a team has been sent to nab the culprit driver while the case has been registered.
Rescue operation also got hamper due to heavy rush on this road due to “Langars” and heavy crowed of devotees.