18 killed in Mandi bus accident in Himachal

Himachal Mandi accident nov 2016
Pic Courtsey- Rohit Sharma

Mandi (Nov 5, 2016): In yet another tragic accident 18 precious lives were lost and 28 people were injured today when an overloaded private bus plunged into Beas river near Mandi town in Himachal Pradesh, police said.

The bus was enroute Kullu town from Mandi when it fell into the gorge near Brindavan, some 200 km from the state capital Shimla.

Indian Express reported that a rashly driven private bus skidded off the road and plunged into Beas river, near Mandi town Saturday. There are two couples among dead. At least 14 persons died on the spot while others succumbed to their injuries later, some on way to the regional hospital Mandi and some after reaching there. One person who was being taken to Shimla’s Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) due to his critical situation, also died on the way.

The bus no HP 65 3444, belonging to Mandi-based Kanika travels, was on its way to Kullu from Mandi and had around 45 passengers travelling in it. Most of them were locals either from Mandi or Kullu districts. Some of the passengers, who were still in the state of shock, blamed the driver for overspeeding to overtake a truck, 6 kms ahead of Mandi town. To avert hitting a biker just in front of the bus, he turned the vehicle to the left side and crashed with parapets .

The speeding bus managed to erase four parapets and eventually rolled down a 200-feet gorge and plunged into the river, turning turtle. The site of the accident is presently a ghastly look with bodies scattered all over the river bank.

Additional District Magistrate Vivek Chandel, who was at the spot, said, “All passengers on seat numbers between 1 and 12 died due to impact of its tail portion hitting the surface inside the water.” Of the dead, 16 were male passengers and two females. Inquiries said that among dead were a Mandi couple, who had their daughter’s wedding on November 25, on their way to distribute invitation cards to relatives.

The casualty could have been higher if members of the local truck union, whose office was just next to the accident, didn’t immediately come to rescue the injured. Rescue teams and medical officials reached after union members had already began efforts to fish out dead and had also brought the injured out of water.

Inspector General of Police (central) Ajay Yadav, said after visting the spot that, “Preliminary investigations show the cause was negligence and rash driving. The police have registered an FIR under sections 279, 337 and 304-A IPC.”We will verify the details of the driving licence of the driver, and his investigate into driving skills” he added.

Himachal Transport Minister said a probe has been ordered into the accident. Those injured or next of the kins have been given immediate relief by the administration.He said the transport department will give Rs 4 lakh each to next of kins of the deceased while the injured will get Rs 1 lakh each.

Himachal Live Comment- Bus accidents in Himachal refuse to slow down and sadly there is none responsible for these accidents as of now. Neither the police nor the transport department is able to enforce road discipline nor PWD department has been able to make roads which are as per standards of 21st century. Transport Minister GS Bali has been reduced to a Facebook minister and he has no control over the functioning of his department. He seems to be only concerned about making himself look good on social media. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh should immediately remove him as Transport Minister.

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