18 dead as bus falls into a gorge in HP

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SIMLA: Eighteen persons were killed and 12 others injured on Tuesday when a bus fell 200 mts deep into a gorge at Nathpa on Hindustan Tibet National highway, 185km from here. Fifteen persons died on the spot while three succumbed to their injuries on way to hospital and twelve others were injured, SP, Kinnaur, Rahul Nath said. The condition of four injured persons was stated to be serious and they have been rushed to Civil Hospital Rampur.

The private bus was on its way to Rampur from Rekong Peo when the tragedy struck. The deceased included two policemen while the identity of the others was being identified. Since most of the people travelling in the bus were locals, a large number of people rushed to the spot and wailing relatives of the passengers looked for their kin. After hurtling into the gorge, the bus stopped on the bank of Sutlej, a few meters from the river and some of the injured persons jumped out of the bus.

The bus broke into pieces and rescuers struggled to extricate the bodies trapped in the vehicle. Rescue teams, assisted by local people, had a tough time in bringing the injured to nearest road.

The injured persons have been admitted to hospital at Bhawa Nagar while two seriously injured persons were rushed to civil hospital at Rampur. The cause of the accident could not be ascertained so far but eye-witnesses said it took place as the driver tried to overtake another bus. 

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