At least twenty-five people have died after a bus – with more than 40 aboard – fell into a gorge in Uttarakhand. Over 40 people – including children – were reported to be on the bus, which fell into a 500-meter gorge on the Rikhnikhal-Birokhal road in Pauri Garhwal district on Tuesday. Twenty people have been rescued so far and the operation is still on, the state police said.
"According to the information received so far, 25 people have died in this accident. 20 people have been rescued and sent to the hospital, some of whom are seriously injured," the Uttarakhand police said in a tweet.
DGP Ashok Kumar also confirmed the same to news agency ANI: "25 people found dead in the Pauri Garwhal bus accident that took place last night in Birokhal area of Dhumakot." Four SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) teams are learnt to be at the site of the accident for coordinating the rescue operations.
A wedding procession had left the Lal Dhang area in Haridwar on the bus that was hit by the tragedy, ANI quoted the Haridwar SP as saying. "Information is being taken from the family members. Rescue operation is still underway by the Pauri Police and SDRF at the spot," Swatantra Kumar Singh had said.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had asked the state disaster management centre to constantly monitor the situation. "The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams were mobilised for the accident spot. We are trying our best to take all the facilities to the accident spot. Local villagers are helping in the rescue operation," he said in late-night statement.
The incident came on the day when a group of trainee mountaineers was struck by an avalanche. At least four deaths have been reported so far.