Himachal bus accident: Five victims still missing (Lead)

July 28th, 2010 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, July 28 (IANS) Rescue workers Wednesday failed to trace five people, including two children, who went missing a day after their bus skidded off the road into a rivulet in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district, officials said.
A state-run bus with more than 30 passengers on board fell into the flooded rivulet Tuesday due to heavy rains near Kupvi in Chopal subdivision. Twentyseven people were rescued and the body of one passenger was recovered.

“The ill-fated bus is still lying in the rivulet and it could not be pulled out as it’s lying 100 feet below the road,” police officer Sohan Lal told IANS over phone from the accident spot.

He said the chances of survival of the missing passengers were low.

“Families of four passengers have informed the police that their kin are missing. Now, one more family has approached police regarding their missing kin,” Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ramesh Thakur said.

Lal said the missing passengers were either trapped in the bus or drowned in the rivulet.

“We are making a temporary path so that the crane could reach the bus. If the weather permits, the bus could be retrieved late in the evening or otherwise the operation would start next (Thursday) morning,” he added.

The bus on its way to Kupvi from Shimla skidded off the road as a portion of the road caved in due to rains.

Superintendent of Police R.M. Sharma said that according to the bus conductor, 30-32 people were travelling in the bus.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has informed his counterpart in Uttarakhand about the accident.

A government spokesperson said there was a possibility of bodies being swept towards Uttarakhand as the accident spot was located on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

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