Kullu: 33 person were killed when an over crowded private bus (HP 66-1538) on it’s way from Kullu to Ani skidded off the road into the fast-flowing Beas river on Wednesday afternoon between Jhari and Nagwain on National Highway 21.
“33 bodies have been retrieved from the river and 14 other people are injured and have been rushed to hospital,” Kullu police chief R.S. Negi was quoted in the media.
Negi said the death toll was likely to rise as some victims appeared to have been washed away in the fast-flowing waters of the Beas river. He said it was not immediately clear how many people were on board the bus when it slid off the road.
As per local reports the bus was completely submerged in the water. The bus driver jumped off the vehicle before it plunged into the river. Survivors said the bus owner’s son was driving the vehicle and was listening to a mobile phone at the time of accident.
Locals alleged that the death toll was higher as the rescue operation started late. The first crane reached the spot after 2 hours of the accident. Local rafters who had reached the spot and started rescue operation were allegedly stopped by the police who waited for the crane to arrive. By the time first crane reached almost all passengers trapped inside the bus had died.
Rescue operations were on and being jointly conducted by the officials of Kullu and Mandi disrticts. District administration announced ₹ 15,000 as immediate relief to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹ 5,000 to the injured.
As per latest reports 40 bodies had been recovered from the site out of which 35 bodies have been identified.