At Least 43 Dead as Bus Falls Into Tons River in Himachal Pradesh
The bus was on its way to Tiuni in Uttarakhand when the accident took place in the morning.
- At least 43 people are feared dead after a private bus rolled off the road and fell into Tons River
- The accident took place in remote Nerwa area in Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh
- The only known survivor claimed that one of the leaf springs of the bus snapped just prior to the accident
- Administration had a tough time extracting bodies of the victims from the mangled remains of the bus because of the hilly terrain
- Uttarakhand government announced compensation of Rs 1 lakh for kin of those dead, Rs 50,000 for the severely injured and Rs 25,000 for the injured
Terrain Made it Difficult to Extract Bodies
Eyewitnesses said the administration had a tough time extracting bodies of the victims from the mangled remains of the bus, though villagers began the rescue operation even before the authorities could reach the spot.
It took hours for rescuers and police to climb down the mountain and bring up the bodies.
Rescue workers said the road where the accident occurred was badly damaged and there was no parapet to prevent the vehicle from rolling down.
State Disaster Response Force teams from Uttarakhand also reached the accident spot for relief and rescue operation.
(With inputs from IANS.)
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Leaf Springs of Bus Snapped Before the Accident
According to state police, of the confirmed deaths, 10 women and three young girls were included.
Naresh Chauhan, the only known survivor other than the conductor, claimed that one of the leaf springs of the bus snapped just prior to the accident.
"The driver and the conductor got down from the bus when the leaf spring broke down. After inspecting the leaf spring, they continued with the journey," he told police.
He said that at one point when the driver applied the brakes on a turn, the bus tilted.
Sensing that the bus was about to overturn, I, sitting close to the back door, jumped out.
Superintendent of Police DW Negi told reporters in Shimla that the conductor who fled the accident spot was later apprehended.
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