At least 32 people were killed and nearly 30 injured when a private bus skidded off a mountain road and plunged 500-feet down the hill at Banjar in Kullu district on Thursday.
Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said that the bus was on its way from Kullu to Gada Ghusheni. The accident took place around 4.30 pm at Doth Mor, about two kilometers from Banjar town.
Local officials led by Banjar sub-divisional magistrate MR Bhardwaj rushed to the spot immediately and launched the rescue operation with the help of residents of nearby villages.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths. “Deeply saddened by the bus accident in Kullu…. I hope the injured recover soon,” he tweeted. PM Modi added that the Himachal Pradesh government is providing all possible assistance. Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur have also expressed grief at the loss of life in the accident.
One official said most of the victims were school and college students who were returning home. The injured have been taken to the local Banjar hospital. The critically injured were shifted to the regional hospital at Kullu district headquarters.
Kullu district police chief Agnihotri said that the administration is in the process of identifying the dead. She said some of the injured are in a very critical condition.
Prima facie, she said, the driver appeared to have lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a sharp turn.
A witness said the crash barriers were missing at the spot where the bus skidded off the narrow mountain road.
Local media showed the mangled remains of the bus near a stream at the bottom of the gorge as locals made human chains to help survivors cross it.
The Himalayan state is prone to deadly accidents owing to its rugged terrain, with speeding and over-crowding adding to the safety hazards.
Jun 20, 2019 18:15 IST
32 dead, 30 injured as bus falls in gorge in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh – Hindustan Times