As many as 30 people died including 26 school children and ten others sustained injuries when a private school bus carrying about 40 children skidded off the road and fell into a 150 ft deep gorge on Nurpur near Malkval this afternoon.
A report by IANS said that they were returning home from school when their bus fell into the gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road, about 300 kilometre from the state capital.
The bus had barely crossed 6 km when the bus plunged into a gorge on the side of the road with such a great impact that much of the vehicle was crushed.
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The reasons behind the accident are not yet clear.
Chief minister said that he has asked the Food and Civil Supply Minster Kishan Kapoor to immediately rush to the spot and supervise rescue operation. Teams of local administration and the National Disaster Response Force were involved in the rescue and faced a tough time in pulling out the victims from the mangled bus. The bus driver and two teachers were also killed in the accident on Monday evening. Transport Minister Govind Thakur and all the other members of the state Cabinet have condoled the death of school children.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep anguish over the tragedy. "My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident".
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"The bus had been inspected by all the authorities and had met all norms", she said.
"We had to cut open the body of the bus to pull out the victims and survivors", he said.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has announced Rs 5 lakh for each of the families of the deceased and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
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