34 killed in Himachal bus accident (Lead)September 11th, 2012 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Sep 11 (IANS) A total of 34 people, including eight women, were killed when a state roadways bus skidded off the road and fell into a 1,000-foot-deep gorge Monday night in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, an official said.
All 34 bodies have been recovered, most of them Tuesday morning, from the wreckage of the bus, while six injured people, including conductor Sumir Kumar, have been hospitalised, Deputy Commissioner K.R. Bharti told IANS Tuesday.
The 42-seater bus, ferrying passengers from Palampur to Asha Puri, a village known for a hilltop shrine, was overcrowded, one of the survivors told police.
However, most of passengers alighted from the bus at Makol village, just a few kilometres before the accident, the survivors said.
The civil authorities had to call in Indian Army personnel from Palampur, which is 250 km from here, to undertake the rescue operation that lasted more than 12 hours as the accident spot was treacherous and thickly forested.
Rescue workers used ropes to go down into the gorge to recover the bodies and the injured.
The driver was adjusting his seat when the accident occurred. “Most probably, the driver was distracted while adjusting the seat,” Bharti said.
Official sources said mechanical failure was mainly responsible for the accident.
The government has ordered a magisterial probe into the accident. It announced a relief of Rs.20,000 to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs.5,000 each to the injured.
Most of the victims were locals and belonged to closely-knit families belonging to Asha Puri.
Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal have expressed grief over the accident.
This is the second major accident in the state in less than a month. Fifty-three people were killed and 46 injured Aug 11 when an overcrowded private bus rolled into a 300-foot-deep gorge in Chamba district in the state.
More than 580 people have died in over 1,600 incidents of road accidents this year in the state, according to Dhumal. State capital Shimla recorded the highest number of deaths.
“As many as 586 people have lost their lives in the state from Jan 1 to July 31 in 1,669 accidents,” Dhumal said in the state assembly Aug 29.
He said in a written reply that 1,072 people died in the state in 3,099 accidents that occurred last year.
- Bus with over 30 people falls into Himachal gorge (Lead) - Sep 11, 2012
- Bus with 30 people falls into Himachal gorge - Sep 10, 2012
- 586 killed in Himachal road accidents this year - Aug 30, 2012
- 51 killed, 46 injured as bus falls into Himachal gorge (Third Lead) - Aug 11, 2012
- 40 die as bus falls into Himachal gorge (Second Lead) - Aug 11, 2012
- 51 killed, 46 injured as bus falls into Himachal gorge (Fourth Lead) - Aug 11, 2012
- 37 killed as truck falls into Himachal gorge (Night Lead) - Aug 19, 2010
- 20 die as bus fall into Himachal gorge (Lead) - Aug 11, 2012
- 27 killed in Himachal bus accident - Oct 25, 2011
- Himachal accident toll rises to 15 (Lead) - Jan 13, 2012
- Bus rolls down Himachal gorge, 24 killed (Second Lead) - Aug 19, 2010
- 29 killed in Himachal as bus falls into gorge (Lead) - Nov 06, 2009
- Five killed in Himachal accident - Aug 20, 2010
- Seven killed in Himachal accident (Lead) - Mar 09, 2011
- 19 killed as bus falls into gorge in Himachal (Lead) - Aug 19, 2010
Tags: army personnel, bharti, bus accident, chief minister, civil authorities, deep gorge, deputy commissioner, hilltop shrine, indian army, kangra district, major accident, mechanical failure, one of the survivors, palampur, private bus, road accidents, seater bus, state roadways, sumir, tuesday morning