Dehradun: At least 24 persons were killed and eight others injured when the bus they were travelling in plunged into a deep gorge in Uttarakhand late on Tuesday, police said.
The accident took place near Nalupani in Uttarkashi district when a bus full of pilgrims from Indore, Madhya Pradesh were returning from the Gangotri shrine. Around 6 pm, the bus fell 300 metres down the road into the river.
Three people are still missing and the eight injured who were rescued have been admitted at the Community Health Centre at Chinyalisaud, an official informed IANS.
Some passengers of the ill-fated bus also fell in the Bhagirathi rover flowing below. District officials, including district magistrate Ashish Srivastava, rushed to the spot but rescue efforts were hampered owing to the darkness.
With the hill being very steep, rescue was further delayed and went on till the morning. SDRF, police and ITBP teams then went down from the other side and rescued eight passengers. Bodies have been recovered but are yet to be identified.
On Chardham Yatra since 12 May, these pilgrims had already visited Yamunotri and Gangotri and were on way to Haridwar from where they had to go to Kedarnath, Srivastava said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has condoled the loss of lives in the mishap and has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for those injured. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
Officials have also been asked to identify danger zones on routes of the annual 'Chaar Dham Yatra', put up speed monitors, turning warnings and put up crash barriers.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expressed grief over the tragedy and issued instructions for immediate aid to the victims.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: May 24, 2017 10:09:44 IST