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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 1:45 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 1:45 AM (IST)

Chopal accident: 38 bodies identified

Angle of overspeeding, possibility of breaking down of axle being probed

Prez condoles loss of lives

  • President Pranab Mukherjee condoled the loss of lives in the bus accident in Shimla and called upon the state government and other agencies to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families and medical assistance to the injured.
  • The President wrote to Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat, conveying his condolences on the loss of lives due in the accident.
  • In a message, the President said: "I am sad to learn about the accident in which a bus carrying passengers plunged into a river in Shimla."
Chopal accident: 38 bodies identified
Rescue operation in full swing on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 20

As many as 38 of the 45 bodies of the victims of yesterday’s bus accident near Gumma in Chopal, Shimla district, have been identified. These included 18 from Uttarakhand, 13 from Himachal, four from Uttar Pradesh and one from Bihar while two hailed from Nepal.

All 38 bodies have been handed over to family members and an immediate relief of Rs 19 lakh (Rs 50,000 each) has been distributed while efforts are on to identify the remaining seven bodies, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur said.

“We got a clue from the medical prescription slips found from one of the unidentified bodies and contact was established with the doctor who runs a clinic at Pauri in Uttrakhand. He gave phone number of Harish, also a Nepali, who stated that he knew these six Nepalese, all of them labourers and one of them is his nephew,” said Rohan.

“Harish is on his way from Pauri to Nerwa and is expected to reach here tonight and we are hopeful that the rest of the bodies will also be identified,” he said, adding that a letter had also been sent to the External Affairs Ministry to inform the Nepalese counterpart about the accident.

A request had also been made for broadcasting the news so that the relatives of the victims in Nepal could be informed.

Sources revealed that during interrogation, conductor Tulsi denied overspeeding and technical snag. But the angle of overspeeding and possibility of breaking down of axle while negotiating the curve was being probed as the road was wide at the point from where the bus rolled down. Blood samples of the deceased driver had been taken to ascertain whether he was under the influence of alcohol or not, the sources added.

Meanwhile, SDM, Chopal, Anil Chauhan, who himself carried bodies from the riverbed to the road, showed the way as to how the rescue operations are undertaken.

Apart from the Himachal Government, the Uttarakhand Government also rendered massive support to rescue operations and the SSP, Dehradun, immediately made an aerial survey of the accident spot.

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