Himachal Pradesh: 30, including 27 kids, killed in school bus accident in Kangra; Modi says he's 'deeply anguished'
At least 20 children from a private school in Himachal Pradesh were killed when their school bus skidded off the road and fell into a 100-feet-deep gorge in Kangra district
Thirty persons, including 27 children, were killed on Monday when a private school bus fell into a gorge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
The school bus skidded off the road and fell into a 100-feet-deep gorge in Kangra district, police said. Superintendent of Police Santosh Patyal confirmed the deaths. All the dead students were below the age of 10. The bus driver and two teachers were also among the dead.
Around 45 students of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial Public School were returning home when the bus skidded off road and fell into the 100-feet deep gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road, some 300 km from the state capital.
The death toll could rise as students were still trapped in the mangled body of the bus, the police said, adding that rescue operations are on.
Local villagers had begun rescue operation even before officials could reach the spot, eyewitnesses told IANS.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur announced Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased, ANI reported.
"I have spoken with the chief secretary, DG and the deputy commissioner," Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur told ANI. He added that the NDRF had been deployed immediately on the location. Thakur has also ordered a magisterial probe into the accident.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor along with local legislator Rakesh Pathania and Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar have reached Kangra to supervise rescue and relief operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths in the accident. "I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident," Modi tweeted.
I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 9, 2018
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Union Health Minister JP Nadda also condoled the deaths in Kangra.
Teams of local administration and the National Disaster Response Force were involved in the rescue and faced a tough time in pulling out the victims from the damaged bus. Some of the injured were referred to hospitals in Pathankot in Punjab.
Eyewitnesses said the driver probably lost control over the vehicle which skidded into the gorge. SP Santosh Patyal also corroborated with this, saying, "Prima facie, negligent driving and over-speeding are the main reasons for the accident."
With inputs from agencies
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