10 killed as bus falls into gorge in Himachal

Shimla, May 20 (IANS) At least 10 people, including three women, were killed and 39 others injured on Friday when an overloaded private bus skidded off the road and fell into a 80-metre-deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district, officials said.

The dead included two residents of Punjab’s Sangrur town.

The accident took place at Dhaain rivulet near the Chauhara dam, some 450 km from the state capital.

The bus was on its way from Sanghni to Dalhousie and most of the passengers were local.

Seven bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of the vehicle, while the injured people have been hospitalised, tehsildar Ajay Prashar told IANS over phone from the spot.

The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, he added.

Eyewitnesses said bad condition of the road was mainly responsible for the accident.

Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh have expressed grief over the accident.

Chamba is one of remotest places in the state and scarcity and low frequency of passenger buses in the district leads to overcrowding of the vehicles.

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