The Himachal Pradesh school bus rolled into a 200ft-deep gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver
At least 30 people, including 27 school children, were killed after a private bus skidded off the road and rolled down deep into a gorge in Nurpur area of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh on Monday. Twelve injured passengers were rushed to the hospital and are in critical condition.
“The bus rolled into a 200ft-deep gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver,” said Santosh Patyal, a senior local police official.
“My first priority was to save lives. We will now investigate the reasons for the accident,” he said.
Most of the students were in the age of 10 to 12 years. Local villagers had begun rescue operation even before officials could reach the spot, eyewitnesses said. 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. 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 mangled bus.
“Prima facie, negligent driving and over-speeding are the main reasons for the accident,” an official said. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat and Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda condoled the deaths. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.
Death toll may rise
Top 10 developments on the tragicthat claimed 30 lives:
1. Modi condoles deaths in Himachal bus accident: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday condoled the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Himachal Pradesh, in which 30 people, including 27 students, were killed.
“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,” tweeted PMO India. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also said, “I am deeply shocked to learn about the tragic bus accident…my heart goes out to the family members of the deceased.”
2. Deeply disturbed by the bus accident, says Rahul: “I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the bus accident in Himachal, that has claimed many lives, including those of 26 children,” Gandhi tweeted. “I urge our Congress party workers in Himachal to provide all the assistance they can, to the families of the victims and to those who are injured,” he added. ()