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27 Children Among 30 Killed as School Bus Falls Into Gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra

The school bus fell into a 100-feet-deep gorge in Kangra’s Nurpur area. Eyewitnesses said the driver had probably lost control over the vehicle which skidded into the gorge.

Anuradha Shukla | CNN-News18

Updated:April 10, 2018, 1:17 PM IST
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Chandigarh: At least 30 people, including 27 children below the age of 10, died in a tragic accident in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra on Monday as their school bus fell into a 100-feet-deep gorge.

School bus driver, 67-year-old Madan Lal, and two women teachers also died in the accident, Kangra SP Santosh Patial said. A NDRF team has been rushed to the accident spot and rescue operations are underway.

The students, mostly from Class 5 and below, of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial Public School, were on their way home from school when their bus fell into the gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road, about 300 kilometres from the state capital.

At least 13 seriously injured persons were rushed to a hospital in Pathankot where one of them succumbed to injuries, an official said. The condition of other injured persons was also critical, he said.

The bus was carrying 40-45 people and most of those killed were students of elementary classes, aged below ten.

The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh relief for the families of the dead and said it will bear the cost of treatment of the injured children.

CM Jairam Thakur said, “I have been told that nine children died and several got injured in the incident. I have spoken with the chief secretary, DG and Deputy Commissioner. An NDRF team has been deployed at the spot. Rescue operations are underway with the help of locals. I've ordered a magisterial probe.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of life, tweets, "I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident."

Eyewitnesses said the driver had probably lost control over the vehicle, which skidded into the gorge.

A pall of gloom descended in the area as wailing parents rushed to the spot on hearing the news. Food and Supplies Minister Krishan Kapoor was among the senior state functionaries at the accident site to supervise rescue operations.

The bodies were extricated from the rubble with the assistance of local youth.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda has also expressed condolence over the incident. State Cabinet Minister Kishan Kapoor visited the site and took stock of the situation. Chief Minister called Deputy Commissioner Kangra to inquire about the incident and directed him to conduct rescue and relief operations on war footing.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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