Shimla Dec 2: Sixteen members of a marriage party, including eight women, died on the spot and a young boy injured after their jeep veered off the road and fell into a gorge in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh late last night.
Rampur DSP Man Singh Thakur told the sources here that the accident occurred at Keku, 157 km from here, on the Sainj-Bethal road in the district at about 2100 hours.
The accident only came to the notice after other members of the marriage party started a search for the Tempo Trax, which was a part of the convoy of four vehicles that had started from Nirmand to Kumarsain in the district, he said.
Mr Thakur said the relatives and friends of the missing people returned to the accident site by the same route in another vehicle after hearing the ringing of a mobile phone that had somehow got entangled in one of the bushes near the road.
Home Guard, police personnel and local people along with a medical team rushed to the accident site for rescue operations, which were hampered due to pitch darkness, rough terrain and extreme cold conditions, he said.
He said he along with Rampur SDM Daleep Negi rushed to the site on being informed about the accident to supervise rescue and relief operations, which had been called off after recovering all the bodies.
A young boy injured in the accident has been admitted to a government hospital at Khaneri where the doctors described his condition stable and out of danger, the DSP said.
He said the cause of the accident was, however, not immediately known, adding that investigations are to ascertain the reason.