Updated: June 6, 2022 6:19:33 am
At least 25 persons are confirmed to have died after a bus carrying 28 tourists from Panna district in Madhya Pradesh and two staffers fell in a 150-metre-deep gorge in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Sunday evening.
According to officials of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), which is involved in the rescue and relief operation along with the district administration, 25 bodies have been recovered and the five injured people taken to a nearby hospital. The passengers were on their way to Yamunotri Dham in Uttarkashi.
“On Sunday evening we were informed that around 4 km ahead of Damta, under the Purola police station area, a tourist bus fell into a gorge. The bus reportedly had 28-30 passengers and fell into a 150-metre-deep gorge. Soon after getting the information, SDRF teams reached the spot and started a rescue operation. Backup teams from Ujeli, Mori, Chakrata, and Sahastradhara posts have also been sent,” read a statement issued by the SDRF.
“So far, we have recovered 25 bodies from the spot and five were injured. As per unverified information, one of the injured died during treatment. There were a total of 30 persons on the bus–28 pilgrims, a driver and a conductor,” said an SDRF official, adding that the rescue operation was going on.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the kin of those killed in the accident. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each.
In a tweet from the PMO India Twitter account, Modi said the bus accident in Uttarakhand was heart-wrenching. “I express my condolences to those who lost their loved ones. The local administration in the supervision of the state government is trying to provide every possible help,” he tweeted.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the disaster control room in Dehradun and directed the district administration to carry out relief and rescue work expeditiously. Governor Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh also expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah talked to Dhami over the incident and said the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams had also been deployed to help with the search and rescue operation.
“The information of a bus carrying devotees falling into a gorge is sad. I have talked to CM Pushkar Singh Dhami regarding the incident. Local administration and SDRF teams are involved in the rescue operation and those injured are being taken to nearby hospitals. The NDRF will also reach there soon,” Shah tweeted.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the death of the pilgrims from Panna was unfortunate. “I and my team are in constant touch with the Uttarakhand government and district administration. Arrangements are being made for the treatment of the injured and bringing the bodies of the deceased to Madhya Pradesh. The families should not consider themselves alone in this time of crisis. We all are with the grieving families,” he tweeted.
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