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14 die in HP bus mishap
Our Correspondent

The HRTC bus that rolled down a gorge after being hit by another bus near Kandaghat on Saturday
The HRTC bus that rolled down a gorge after being hit by another bus near Kandaghat on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Solan, December 2
Fourteen persons were killed and 30 others injured, four of them seriously, when a Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus (HP-14-7501) rolled down a 300-metre gorge near Jokhri village on the National Highway-22 near Kandaghat after being hit by another bus coming from the opposite direction.

While two of the seriously injured, Prem Chand and Raman Angra, were referred to the IGMC, Shimla, two others, Mahender and Gagan, were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, from here.

Ten of the 14 dead were killed on the spot while the others succumbed to their injuries at the Regional Hospital here.

The HRTC bus was on the way from Shimla to Delhi. According to a first-hand account of an injured passenger, Parvinder, another bus coming from the opposite direction, which was on the wrong side, failed to negotiate a curve and its rear hit the HRTC bus.

The driver of HRTC bus, Nand Lal, tried his best to save the bus from being hit, but failed. So great was the impact of the moving bus that the HRTC bus broke the parapet and rolled down the steep gorge. Onlookers said it was either a CTU or a Haryana Roadways bus that hit the HRTC bus.

Rescue work was started immediately by residents of Jamrog village situated below.

The police later made arrangements to shift the injured to the Regional Hospital, Solan. Some of the injured were rushed to the Kandaghat hospital from where two critically-injured were referred to the IGMC, Shimla.

Those killed in the accident include driver Nand Lal, hailing from Dharampur, conductor Gita Ram, hailing from Kroro Kainthri near Kumarhatti, Vimla Devi from Damrog, Sanjay Butail, Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Solan, Mahinder Pal, Lance Naik from JAK Rifles, Jabalpur, Rakesh Gupta and his wife Chandraprabha from Springdale, Shimla, Sandeep Kumar, studying at Jaypee University, Vaknaghat, Aman, c/o Kapur Enterprises, Shimla, Darshan Singh, an Army sleuth posted at Kurali in the Western Command.

Emotional scenes were witnessed both at the site of accident and at the hospital where the kin of those injured and dead reached for identifying their relatives.

It was a day of utter trauma for two daughters of Rakesh Gupta when they arrived at the Regional Hospital here in search of their parents and younger brother. Unable to find them in the ward where the injured were admitted, hope played hide and seek with them for quite some time.

There was severe resentment among the people as the cavalcade of the Chief Minster, Mr Virbhadra Singh, MP Pratibha Singh and Revenue Minister Sat Mahajan, who were coming to Solan for a function after making a brief halt at the accident site, received garlands from school students barely 1 km ahead.

Flaying this callous attitude of the senior ministers, a BJP MLA, Dr Rajiv Bindal, said it was unfortunate that such a big accident did not deter the Chief Minister from receiving garlands from the public.

He said the entire administration was busy in attending to the Chief Minister and soon after he left the hospital, the entire administration, except the Tehsildar and Naib Tehsildar, escorted him to private functions.

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