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Monday, September 7, 1998
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12 killed in Himachal Pradesh bus mishap
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, Sept 6 — At least 12 persons were killed (14 according to UNI) and 35 injured, 10 of them seriously, when a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus plunged into a 250-ft deep khud at Gallu, 20 km from here, today.

The ill-fated bus was on its way from here to Dhamwari, and had about 50 persons onboard. The driver and the conductor were among those injured.

All injured have been admitted at Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital, here. The condition of four persons is stated to be serious.

Mr Ram Subhag Singh, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr A.N. Sharma, SP, rushed to the spot and organised rescue operations. All 12 bodies have been recovered.

The exact cause of the mishap could not be ascertained. While Mohindra Kumar, driver of the bus, said the bus went out of control due to the failure of brakes, the injured passengers said the bus was overspeeding. Some others said the bus brushed against a tempo coming from the opposite direction.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the accident. Mr Amitabh Awasthy, SDM (Rural) will hold the inquiry.

Mr R.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, visited the hospital and sanctioned Rs 1 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed and Rs 10,000 each to those injured. He directed the administration to make arrangements for transporting the bodies.

The district administration will give Rs 25,000 to the dependents of those killed and Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 to those injured.

Mrs V.S. Rama Devi, Governor, expressed shock over the accident and conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families.

Mr Khushi Ram Balnatah, the newly-appointed Chairman of the HRTC, also met the injured.

Mr Gulab Singh, Speaker, Mr Kishan Kapoor, Transport Minister and Mr Narinder Bragta, Horticulture Minister, also expressed their sympathies with the bereaved families.

So far four bodies have been identified — Lokendra (19) of Chopal, Ind Bahadur of Shimla, Dandu Ram (60) of Dalgaon and Vandana (22) of Shimla.

The injured have been identified as Devendra Sharma (36), Rajeshwar (27), Preetam (35), Tek Singh (38), Rajendra (34), Padam Singh (43), Suraja Devi (39), Madhu Bala (15), Udham Singh (55), Sunita (34), Indra Dev (45), R.S. Jhangta (52), Sirbhu Ram (60), Sohan Lal (38), Pradeep Kumar (17), Krishna Chandra (29), Gian Chand (60), Hari Om (36), Sidha Ram (60), Durga Chand (54), Dharm Dut (29), Mohindra Singh (35), Inderjit (31), Neha (3), Santosh (27), Baldev Singh (41), Prem Raj (39), Sain Das (48), Inder Singh (35), Roshan Lal (39), Bhagwan Singh (28), Amrik Singh (27), Mahavir Singh (34) and Suresh (29).


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