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27 kids among 30 dead in Himachal bus accident; Rs 500,000 for next of kin

27 of the 30 dead were school kids. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the bus accident in Kangra district Himachal Pradesh

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla/Nurpur 

Himachal bus accident
Himachal Pradesh: Visuals from the hospital where those injured in the Kangra bus accident have been admitted. The accident claimed the lives of 29 people, most of whom were children. Photo: ANI

Twenty-seven children were among 30 killed when a ferrying them back home plunged into a deep gorge near village Gurchal on the Nurpur-Chamba highway, about 100 km from the district headquarters at Dharamsala.

The deceased children were students of Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School, police said.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister condoled the loss of lives in a in

"I am deeply shocked to learn about the tragic heart goes out to the family members of the deceased," Naidu tweeted.

In a tweet, the PMO said Modi was deeply anguished over the loss of lives.

"My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident," the PMO said quoting the prime minister.

Thirty persons, including 27 children, have lost their life, Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur said.

driver, 67-year-old Madan Lal, and two women teachers also died in the accident, SP Santosh Patial said.

Local BJP MLA, Rakesh Pathania, who was on the spot, said 27 bodies were recovered while two more had been spotted.

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.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced an immediate relief of Rs 500,000 to the next of kin of each deceased.

A magisterial probe was ordered and preliminary enquiries suggested the accident occurred as the driver lost control over the bus which veered off the road and fell into a deep gorge, an official said.

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.

Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Union minister JP Nadda, Transport minister Thakur, were among those who expressed deep shock over the tragedy.

First Published: Mon, April 09 2018. 22:43 IST