12 killed as bus falls into swollen Himachal rivulet

August 10th, 2011 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Chamba (Himachal Pradesh), Aug 10 (IANS) At least 12 passengers were killed when a mini-bus rolled down a hill and plunged into a rivulet in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district Wednesday, police said.

The private bus carrying around 15 people was going from Tissa, some 65 km from Chamba town, towards Dalhousie, Superintendent of Police Madhu Sudan told IANS.

“The bus had covered just about 10 km from Tissa when it skidded off the road and fell into a flooded rivulet near Tissa bridge in Churah subdivision,” he said.

One injured was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Twelve bodies have been fished out of the swollen rivulet.

“As per information provided by the lone survivor, there were 15 to 16 passengers on board. The search is on to locate rest of the passengers but chances of finding anyone alive are bleak as the rivulet is in spate,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner Sharab Negi said the dead included 10 men. “Prima facie, negligent driving is the main reason for the accident,” he added.

The government has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Eyewitnesses said the administration had a tough time in extricating the victims from the bus, although villagers started the rescue operations before the authorities could reach the spot.

Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal have expressed grief over the accident.

Tissa, some 525 km from state capital, is one of the remotest areas of the state.

Chamba district has earned the notoriety of being accident-prone as it has seen several road accidents in the past one year.

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