M A I N   N E W S

20 die in Himachal as bus falls into gorge
Tribune News Service

Nahan, June 7
At least 20 persons were killed and 12 injured, three of them seriously, when a private bus (HP 55 5274) rolled down a 120 metre-deep gorge at Bharari village, 15 km from Nohradhar, around 7.15 am today. The ill-fated bus was carrying 35 passengers from Punndhar to Solan when the accident occurred.

While four persons were killed on the spot, three more died on their way to a local hospital at Nohradhar. Another 11 died at a Rajgarh hospital, while two died while being shifted to a Solan hospital.

Among those killed were Basanti Devi, her daughter-in-law Hemanti and Kuldeep Kumar, a naval employee returning to his unit after leave.

Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Priytu Mandal and Superintendent of Police Sumedha Diwedi visited the scene to supervise relief and rescue operations.

Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh extended their condolences to the bereaved families and termed the accident unfortunate.

Transport Minister GS Bali said a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the accident. A four-member committee headed by the Sangrah SDM would probe the accident and submit its report within 15 days. The other members include HRTC Works Manager, PWD SDO (technical) and DSP (headquarters).

He said the district administration had been directed to provide help in treating the victims and speed up the grant of ex gratia.

Those killed are: Basanti Devi (70), Dayanand (58), Hemanti (36), Manisha (18), Ramesh (34), Virender (32), Kuldeep (26), Ramanand (40), Neelam (18), Punam (24), Hari Chand (55), Manish (20), Nisha (17), Ravinder (20), Balwant (28), Puja (18), Rohit (16), Daya Devi, Sunita (20) and Kamla.

The injured include Bala Ram, Satpal, Praveen, Minto, Sandeep, Ravindra, Ravi, Lata, Ambika, Dharampal, Mehar Singh and Rajesh. Sangrah SDM Harbans Singh said an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 had been extended to the next of kin of those killed and Rs 5,000 to the injured.

Bali said the committee would probe all aspects involving the accident. The government would soon come out with a new transport policy that would address such issues.

He would request the Chief Minister to undertake a departmental review of the Transport Department to plug loopholes and devise new measures to spruce up the department, he added.





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