24 dead in Himachal bus accident in Shimla district

Shimla: 24 people were killed and 29 injured in a bus accident when it fell into a 500-foot deep gorge today evening near Chaila in Theog sub division.

A private bus coming from Sharounta to Shimla met with an accident at Sanai village near Chaila on the Kotkhai-Theog road around 4.30 p.m.

It was the second major road accident in the state in less than 24 hours when on Wednesday evening, 38 people, including 22 women and nine children, were killed in Mandi district when an overcrowded truck skidded off the road and fell into a gorge.

29 injured were admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla.

According to Superintendent of Police R.M. Sharma, it seems that the bus suddenly stopped while ascending and the driver lost control of the bus as its brakes failed. The bus rolled into a gorge.

He said the rescue operation is almost over.

Rescue workers said the spot where the accident occurred had been badly damaged due to the recent rains. They said the road was slushy due to the ongoing World Bank-funded road widening project.

Local villagers were the first to reach the spot and begin rescue operations.

Vidya Stokes, CLP leader who reached the spot,said that the roads in the area were deteriorating due to the recent rains and heavy movement of trucks for transportation of apples these days.

Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta also reached the scene to monitor the relief and rescue operation.

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