17 dead, 26 injured as bus plunges into river in Himachal Pradesh

17 dead, 26 injured in Himachal Pradesh road accident
At least 17 people died and 26 others suffered injuries when a private bus they were travelling in skidded off the road and plunged into the Beas river, near Mandi town, in Himachal Pradesh today.
The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals where some of them were in a serious condition, official sources said.
The bus was on its way from Mandi to Kullu, with about 45 passengers, when the mishap occurred around 12.30 pm, the sources said.
According to various accounts, the driver of the vehicle lost control over the wheel when he tried to avoid a motorcyclist and the bus veered off the road, crashed through the parapet and fell into the river, about six km from Mandi. Those killed in the mishap included two women, the sources said.
Several local people rushed to the spot to help rescue the passengers even as police and other district officials reached the scene.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed grief over the loss of lives in the mishap.
Mr. Singh directed the district administration to provide all possible assistance to the family members of the victims and to those injured in the accident.
State Transport Minister said financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh would be provided to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs. 25,000 to the seriously injured and Rs. 5000 to those with minor injuries. This will be in addition to relief provided under the Relief Manual.
Mr. Bali has also ordered an inquiry into the accident through Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) Mandi, Regional Transport Officer, Mandi, Divisional Manager, HRTC Mandi and Regional Manager (Technical) HRTC Mandi who will submit their report within 15 days.


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