46 passengers killed in bus accident in HP

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Shimla, Nov 4 (UNI) As many as 46 passengers, including 10 women, were killed and four others seriously injured when a private bus rolled 300 metres down into a gorge near Lambi Dhar, between the tourist resort of Kufri and Fagu in this district of Himachal Pradesh this morning.

Deputy Commissioner J S Rana confirmed the death of 46 persons.

While 44 were confirmed dead on the spot, two of the injured succumbed to their injuries at the IGMC hospital here.

Sources ruled out the possibility of finding any more survivors while the condition of others being treated at the IGMC was also stated to be serious.

State Governor, Prabha Rau and Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed shock and grief over the incident. The Chief Minister visited the accident site along with the Deputy Commissioner, SDM, Man Singh and other senior officials. He also enquired about the injured at IGMC, Shimla.

A team of doctors was rushed to the accident site and arrangements were made to conduct the post-mortem of 44 bodies at a convenient place close to the spot.

Police sources here said the rescue teams, including those of the army and the ITBP, were assisting in retrieving the bodies from the gorge. A large number of family members and relatives of the deceased had also reached the spot.

The bus, which was badly damaged in the fall, was on its way from Kotighat to Shimla with around 51 passengers on board. The driver of the bus also died in the accident.

The Chief Minister has announced an immediate relief of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of the deceased and a similar amount would be released later.

The injured would get relief ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 40,000 on the basis of their injuries.

Mr Rana said an inquiry, to be conducted by District Magistrate, had been ordered to determine the cause of the accident and the DC had been directed to submit the report in 15 days.

UNI ML JN PK BST2001

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