Uttarkashi: At least 21 persons were killed and eight others were injured when a bus ferrying pilgrims plunged into the Bhagirathi River near Nalupani in Uttarakhand late on Tuesday, the police said.
The accident took place near Nalupani in Uttarkashi district when the bus full of pilgrims from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, was returning from the Gangotri shrine.
Three persons are still missing and the eight injured, who were rescued after great efforts and difficulty, have been admitted at the Community Health Centre at Chinyalisaud, an official said.
Some passengers of the ill-fated bus also fell into the Bhagirathi River flowing below. District officials, including district magistrate Ashish Srivastava, rushed to the spot but owing to darkness, rescue efforts were hampered.
With the hill being very steep, rescue was further delayed and went on till the morning. SDRF, police and ITBP teams then went down from the other side and rescued eight passengers. Bodies have been recovered but are yet to be identified.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has condoled the loss of lives in the mishap and has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for those injured.
Officials have also been asked to identify danger zones on routes of the annual ‘Chaar Dham Yatra’, put up speed monitors, turning warnings and put up crash barriers.
PM announces Rs 2L for kin of deceased
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed in bus accident. He also sanctioned from the PM National Relief Fund Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.
“My prayers & solidarity with those who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate bus accident in Uttarkashi. May the injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister said.