At least 44 people were killed and 34 injured after a bus fell into a deep gorge in Banjar area of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district on Thursday, PTI reported. Officials said that it prima facie seemed to be a case of overloading and negligent driving.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The district administration announced an immediate relief of Rs 50,000 to the families of those who died or were injured.
There is no clarity yet on how many people were travelling in the bus. Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri told ANI that the private bus was carrying 50 people. She said rescue operations were going on. The private bus was on its way to Gada Gushaini from Kullu when the accident took place.
According to reports, several people were sitting on top of the bus. Most of the passengers were college students on their way back home after taking admission in institutions, reported Dainik Jagran. According to the newspaper, most of the injured passengers are from Seraj in Mandi district.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of the deceased. “Deeply saddened by the bus accident in Kullu,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted. “Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I hope the injured recover soon. The Himachal Pradesh Government is providing all possible assistance that is required.”