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35 killed as bus falls into gorge in Himachal
Published on 6 Nov. 2009 11:41 PM IST
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: Thirty-five people, including women and children, were killed when an overcrowded private bus skidded off the road and fell into a 100-foot deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district Friday morning, officials said. The ill-fated bus was coming to Dehra from Nagrota Suriyan in the district when it fell into the gorge near the Haripur Guler bridge, some 50 km from this district headquarter town. “Thirty-five people were killed and 26 injured in the bus accident. Sixteen passengers died on the spot,” Sub-divisional Magistrate Rakesh Sharma told IANS by phone from the accident spot. He said all the injured have been admitted to Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College at Tanda. The dead included the bus conductor. “Most of the dead belonged to Dehra and nearby areas,” Sharma said. Eyewitnesses said the bus was overcrowded and the driver probably lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn. State Transport Minister Mohinder Singh said the government has ordered an inquiry into the accident. “The additional district magistrate of Kangra would conduct an inquiry and submit the report to the district administration within a month,” he said. He said the government has announced Rs.100,000 compensation to the kin of the dead and medical expenses of the injured would be borne by the government. The accident spot is almost 250 km from state capital Shimla. Governor Prabha Rau and Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed grief over the accident. According to police records, rash driving, overloading, untrained drivers, unfit buses and poor roads have been among the factors that killed over 8,000 people in road accidents in the past 10 years in the state. The number of accidental deaths was at an all-time high in 2007 when 979 people lost their lives in 2,955 accidents. Last year, 581 people were killed in road accidents in the state.

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