22 killed in Himachal road accidents

Shimla, May 21 (IANS) At least 22 people have been killed in two road accidents in Himachal Pradesh, police said on Saturday.

In both the accidents, the vehicles in which the victims were travelling fell into gorges.

Thirteen people were killed on Friday night when a private vehicle fell into a gorge in Kinnaur district.

Kinnaur Superintendent of Police Khushal Sharma told IANS that 14 people were travelling in the Mahindra Bolero Camper vehicle when it fell into the gorge near Bada Kamba in Nichar tehsil on Friday night.

The victims were returning from a marriage party, he said. The lone survivor of the accident jumped out of the vehicle.

He said 12 people died on the spot and one on the way to the hospital. They were returning after dropping a newlywed woman to her marital house. The dead included the bride’s brother.

According to police, the vehicle was overloaded with passengers at the time of the accident.

In the second accident that occurred on Saturday, a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus with 29 passengers skidded off the road and fell into a 150 ft deep gorge near Bajoli bridge on the Theog-Chopal road in Shimla district, killing nine people and injuring 20 others, subdivisional magistrate M.R. Bhardwaj said.

The ill-fated bus was travelling from the state capital to Tharoch in Chopal.

The victimes included the bus conductor and the driver.

“The driver probably failed to negotiate a hairpin bend and the vehicle rolled down the gorge,” an eyewitness said.

He said the bus was not fit for plying.

This was the second major accident in the state in less than 24 hours.

Seventeen people, including three women, were killed and 23 others injured when a private bus carrying 50 passengers fell into a gorge in Chamba district.

The bus was on its way from Sanghni to Dalhousie when the accident occurred.

–IANS

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