At least 26 people were killed and 4 others are critically injured after a bus carrying 28 pilgrims fell into a 150-meter deep gorge in Uttarakhand on Sunday evening. The bus on which they were travelling was on the way to Yamunotri temple in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand.
According to the Uttarkashi District Disaster Management Officer, Devendra Patwal, the accident took place near Rikhavu Khadd when the bus was on its way to the Himalayan shrine around two kilometres from Damta on NH-94 from Madhya Pradesh’s Panna district.
Patwal further stated that the bus had two staff members on board, including a driver and a conductor, in addition to the 28 passengers. According to him, seventeen bodies have been recovered so far, and the search for the others is ongoing.
The Uttarakhand Police and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) rushed to the scene of the accident immediately, and an investigation on the matter is underway. Backup teams from Ujeli, Mori, Chakrata, and Sahastradhara posts have also been sent, said SDRF in a statement.
The pilgrims were on their way to Yamunotri, which is part of the Char Dham pilgrimage, which also includes Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Gangotri.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reaches disaster control room
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami arrived at the Dehradun Disaster Control Room and urged the district government to quicken relief and rescue operations, as well as a medical treatment for the injured.
Officials in charge have been directed to investigate the incident. May God grant the departed souls a place at his feet and their loved ones the strength to bear the anguish. I also pray for the quick recovery of all those who have been injured, he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces ex-gratia for the families of deceased and injured
The Prime Minister has stated that the PMNRF will pay the next of kin of those who died in the Uttarakhand accident an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each. The injured would receive a compensation of Rs 50,000 each.