Bhubaneswar, Oct 11 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the death of 41 people, mostly Oriyas, after a bus plunged into a deep gorge in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand today.
Mr Patnaik directed two senior officers of the Resident Commissioner office in New Delhi to rush to the accident site to assist the Uttarakhand officials.
He also discussed the relief and rescue operation with his Uttarakhand counterparts Major General B C Khanduri over telephone.
Mr Patnaik expressed his profound grief to the bereaved family members.
Sources said the mishap occurred when the bus coming from Badrinath on its way to Rishikesh fell into a 50-metre-deep gorge on the bank of river Alaknanda at Vishnuprayag, 10 kms from Joshimath.
As many as 44 people, including the driver, were in the bus when the accident took place. They were returning after visiting the Badrinath Temple.
A rescue and search operation was being carried out by the Army and police.