Updated: March 11, 2020 9:15:36 pm
Five persons died and 35 were injured when a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus fell into a gorge near Chamba early Tuesday, police said, adding that the bus driver has been booked.
The mishap took place near Chehli village, around 20 km from Chamba district headquarters at around 6.30 am.
According to officials, the bus was headed to Chamba from Dehradun. Around a kilometre ahead of Chehli village, the bus driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle and it fell into the gorge. Local residents, fire and police officials rushed the passengers to a hospital in Chamba.
Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur said four persons were declared dead on arrival while one person died during treatment. The injured included three who had sustained severe injuries, who were referred to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College at Tanda in Kangra.
The deceased, all from Chamba district, were identified as Yogesh Kumar, 47, resident of Bangotu; Pooja Kumari, 28, resident of Pakatala; Rajeev Kumar, 37, resident of Saleri Nali in Rathiar; Mani Ram, 33, resident of Bakal village in Rari; and Dawat Ali, 30, resident of Darwa village in Salooni tehsil.
The bus driver, Naresh Kumar, 38, a resident of Jawali, Kangra, was booked for rash and negligent driving and causing death due to negligence under sections 279, 337 and 304A of IPC at the Chamba Sadar police station.
According to the transport minister, the bus which had a capacity of 47, left Chandigarh with 44 passengers, most of whom belonged to Chamba and Talwara.
“The bus was manufactured in November 2014 and had run around 6.94 lakh km. On March 6, it underwent repair/replacement of fog lights, brakes and tyre rubber at a workshop. Again on March 8, it underwent routine checking and its brake lines were serviced. Preliminary probe suggests that the driver could have been driving in a fast and negligent manner. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the tragic and unfortunate incident,” Thakur told the HP Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.
Officials said the treatment of the injured was underway at the hospital in Tanda and Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Chamba.
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