10 dead, 25 injured in Himachal bus accident

Shimla: Ten people, including three women, were killed and 25 injured when a private bus they were travelling in fell into a 200-foot-deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district on Saturday night, the police said.

The accident occurred on the Dalhousie-Pathankot road near Banikhet in Dalhousie sub-division after the driver lost control of the vehicle at 7 pm, district Superintendent of Police Monica Bhutunguru said on Sunday.

The deceased have been identified as Manish Sharma, Rajni (Nurpur, Kangra) Shreshta Devi, Shivani (Dalhousie), Karam Chand (Saluni, Chamba), Ratto (Chamba), Yaru Ingam Shimre (Manipur), Karan Bhat (Delhi), Wasim Mandal (Malda, West Bengal), Manisha (Rajasthan), Bhutunguru said.

Speedy action by quick reaction teams of the Dalhousie cantonment and the civil administration helped in saving the lives of the 25 injured passengers, who were evacuated to nearby hospitals, a Jammu-based defence spokesperson said.

The Army reached the accident site immediately and rescue operation continued till midnight, defence spokesperson Col Davinder Anand said. “The timely help by the Army in the rescue operation saved many precious lives.”

The rescue team carried out mustering of locals for rescue work, rope fixing up to the accident site, traffic management, search and evacuation of the injured persons and recovery of fatal casualties, Col Anand added.

In a statement issued in Shimla, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the incident.