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At Least 48 Killed in Uttarakhand Bus Accident, PM Condoles Deaths

Though the exact cause of the accident was not known yet, the bus was carrying passengers much beyond its capacity.

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At least 48 people were killed and 10 were injured after a private bus fell into a 200-metre deep gorge in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district on Sunday, 1 July.

The “overloaded” bus was carrying 58 passengers, PTI cited the police as saying.

The incident occurred near Gween village, close to Dhumakot, around 8:30 am, when the bus was on its way to Ramnagar from Bhoan. While 45 people were killed on the spot, three more succumbed to injuries later during the day at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Dhumakot, Pauri Superintendent of Police Jagat Ram Joshi told PTI.

Two critically injured were referred to Ramnagar while eight were under treatment at Dhumakot, he added.

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The Prime Minister’s Office, Governor KK Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and instructed the district administration to extend all help to the injured and the kin of the deceased.

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Out of the 48 dead, 22 are men, 16 women and 10 children. All the bodies have been identified.
Deepam Seth, IG, law and order, as quoted by ANI

Though the exact cause of the accident was not yet known, the bus was carrying passengers much beyond its capacity, SP Jagat Ram Joshi said.

One of the possibilities is that the bus fell into the gorge when the driver was trying to negotiate a big water-logged pothole in the middle of the road, the official said referring to initial inputs. The plunge was so forceful that the upper part of the bus separated exposing the seats in the lower part, he said.

The rescue operations were undertaken by the police and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF).

Visiting the site of the accident and ordering a magisterial probe, CM Rawat announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to CM Rawat on the phone to condole the deaths in the accident and offered all possible help in relief and rescue operations, PTI reported.

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International Body Expresses Concern over Road Safety

An international body, on 1 July, expressed concern over the lack of "safety features" on roads in hilly areas in the country

The Geneva-based International Road Federation stressed on the need to install crash-barriers, tough driving license for hill drivers and stricter fitness norms for vehicles.

IRF chairman K K Kapila said in a statement that "a lot needs to be done" to ensure road safety and India "should plan to incorporate the latest technologies and safety features" such as rumble strips and proper signage boards.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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Topics:  Bus Accident   Uttarakhand   Pauri Garhwal 

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