HRTC bus with over 30 passengers, cars buried in debris
Shimla | TNR
A portion of a hill came crashing down on a national highway near Niugalseri in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh burying a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus with nearly 30 passengers, a Tata Sumo, and some other cars while knocking off a truck towards the adjacent river.
10 killed, 13 rescued
Ten persons have been reported dead so far while 13 were rescued alive but with multiple injuries. The identification of the bodies was pending.
Rescue operation hampered by rockslide
Rescue operation being done by teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police, district police force, and local residents was hampered constantly due to rockslide that continued intermittently till late night. The operation continued till about 10 pm.
HRTC bus driver recounts horror
The HRTC bus driver told the police and media later on that he had stopped the bus near the spot after he had noticed some rocks falling on the road. He had stepped out of the bus along with the bus conductor to check out whether it was safe to continue or not.
While the duo was still looking a portion of the hill came crashing down on the bus which was 100 metres behind them on the Ferozepur-Reckong Peo national highway 5. Other vehicles that were parked behind the bus also got buried in the debris.
Rescued persons sent to Bhavnagar hospital
Those rescued from under the debris were sent to the nearby Bhavnagar hospital. There was no trace of the bus or its passengers. Till afternoon rescue team members were getting calls for help from some people buried in the debris but after a few hours, the calls stopped coming.
Tata Sumo recovered, occupants killed
The Tata Sumo that was buried in the debris was located. The eight occupants of this vehicle were found dead. The truck that was hit by the debris and rockslide had rolled off towards the adjacent river. The truck driver’s body was recovered.
State Disaster Management Authority informed that Rohit Sejram of Kia Gaon, Vijay Kumar Chand of Sujanpur, Meena Devi Nanspo of Kinnaur, Nishita Singh Nichar of Kinnaur, Prem Kumari Puh of Kinnaur, Kamlesh Kumar Richuta of Solan, Vanshika Sapni of Sangla, Gyan Chand Polingi of Nichar and Radhika Kafnoo of Kinnaur were killed in the accident.