47 die after bus plunges into deep gorge in northern India

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NEW DELHI, July 1, 2018 (BSS/XINHUA) – As many as 47 people have been
killed after a passenger bus skidded off a steep mountain road and plunged
into a deep gorge in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand Sunday, police
said.

The accident occurred on the Pipali-Bhoan motorway in Pauri Garhwal
district, some 200 km from the state capital of Dehradun.

“The bus carrying some 50 people, including a driver and a conductor,
veered off the road and fell into the 200-feet deep gorge this morning. While
45 people died on the spot in the impact of the crash, two succumbed to their
injuries at a hospital,” a police official said.

Cops said three other critically injured passengers were undergoing
treatment in the hospital. “The death toll may rise later in the day,” the
official said, adding that police and a team from the state disaster response
force carried out the rescue operations jointly.

The privately operated bus was going to Ramnagar from Bhoan when the
accident occurred.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his grief over the
tragic deaths and said that “authorities are providing all possible
assistance at the accident site.”

“Extremely saddened by the bus accident in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. My
deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I pray that those injured
recover at the earliest,” Modi said in a statement, tweeted by the Prime
Minister’s Office.

State Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has also offered his
condolences to the families of the victims and announced a compensation of
200,000 rupees (3,000 U.S. dollars) for each of the dead. “If needed, the
injured will be flown to Dehradun for further treatment,” he said.

Local TV channels showed footage of the mangled remains of the bus and
reported that it was carrying passengers exceeding its capacity and
travelling at a speed usually not recommended in a hilly terrain.

“So far, what we know is that the 28-seater bus was overloaded with 50
people. Anyway, a probe has been ordered into the incident,” the police
official added.

Accidents are common in the hilly state of Uttarakhand. In another major
accident, some 13 pilgrims were killed and 11 others injured after a private
bus tumbled and fell into a gorge in Totam village in the state’s Almora
district in May.

Road accidents occur in India mostly due to poor driving or badly
maintained roads and vehicles.

 

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