At least 25 passengers dead after bus carrying a wedding party plunges into gorge in India

More than 20 rescued during overnight operation

Maroosha Muzaffar
Wednesday 05 October 2022 11:02 BST
(Senior police officer from Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar, tweeted a video of the rescue teams retrieving the injured from the gorge. Screengrab)

At least 25 people have died after a bus they were travelling in fell into a gorge in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand on Tuesday.

The dead were part of a wedding party that was travelling on the bus – which was carrying more than 45 passengers in total at the time the accident took place.

The vehicle fell into a 500-metre gorge on the Rikhnikhal-Birokhal road in Pauri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand in India on Tuesday.

Prime minister Narandra Modi called the accident “heart-rending” and promised assistance to the families of the victims. He wrote on Twitter: “In this tragic hour my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those who have been injured recover at the earliest. Rescue operations are underway. All possible assistance will be provided to those affected.”

A senior police official from Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Swantantra Kumar Singh, told the media that the wedding party had left from Laldhang in the district, about 122km from the site of the accident in Pauri Garhwal.

Local police said that more than 20 people have been rescued during the overnight operation. The passengers on the bus also included children, reports said.

The Uttarakhand police said in a tweet: “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 state authorities sent search and rescue teams to the site of the accident.

The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami said late on Tuesday that they were “trying our best to take all the facilities to the accident spot. Local villagers are helping in the rescue operation.”

Police said that the families of the victims were being informed of the accident.

The president of India, Droupadi Murmu, also paid respects to the dead. “Saddened by the loss of lives in the Pauri Garhwal bus accident. My deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this accident. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”

The accident comes a day after a massive avalanche hit a team of mountaineering trainees at a height of 17,000 feet at Draupadi Ka Danda-II peak in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district.

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