Shimla: An overcrowded bus skidded off the road killing at least 51 people here with 46 injured. As per the police, the bus rolled into a gorge in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh which killed a number of passengers.
The incident took place near Rajera, which is around 10 kms from Chamba town. "The 40-seater bus was overcrowded. People were even sitting on its roof," Chamba Deputy Commissioner Sunil Chaudhary told.
The actual number of people who were traveling has not yet been revealed, however, 39 passengers died on the spot out of the total of 51 deaths. The injured were rushed to hospitals in Chamba where they are being treated.
As per the witnesses the bus was overcrowded and the driver probably lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn. The rescue operation being conducted is quite a tough task keeping in mind the weather conditions. People who were present at the location initiated the search operation which was taken over by the local authorities some time later.
Most of the victims were from Chamba district. The bus driver was among the dead. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and leader of opposition Vidya Stokes have expressed grief over the mishap, where the state government ordering a magisterial probe into the accident.
As per the police the people to be blamed are private bus operators who use untrained drivers and contribute to most of the fatal accidents in the state.