Atleast 13 people were declared dead, and 12 others were injured, on Tuesday, as a 25-seater bus fell 150 feet into a gorge, at Totam in Uttarakhand’s Almora district. The bus had started from Deghat in Almora district, and was going to Ramnagar, 118 kilometres from Deghat, when the accident happened at around 8:30 am on Tuesday at Totam, 78 kilometres from Deghat, Almora District Magistrate Iva Ashish Shrivastava said.
While the rescue operations began within 15 minutes of the accident, 12 persons were found dead by the rescue teams, and one person died on the way to a hospital in Ramnagar. The dead include two women, and the bus driver. Of the 12 persons who were injured, nine persons with head injuries have been admitted in hospitals in Haldwani, and three persons with minor injuries have been admitted in Ramnagar’s civil hospital.
Shrivastava said that most of the victims have been identified, and they are from Deghat. “Preliminary inquiry shows that overloading was not the reason behind the accident. However, considering the response from the people who witnessed the bus accident, over speeding could have been a reason behind the accident,” Shrivastava said, adding that a magisterial inquiry would “soon” be initiated in the matter.