Dehradun: At least 24 people were killed and eight wounded during transport in a deep gorge in Uttarakhand late Tuesday, police said.
The accident took place near Nalupani in the Uttarkashi district when a bus full of Indore pilgrims, Madhya Pradesh, returned from Gangotri shrine. Around 18 hours, the bus dropped 300 meters from the road in the river. Three people are still missing and eight injured who were rescued were admitted to the Chinyalisaud Community Health Center, IANS official said.
Some unfortunate bus passengers also fell into the Bhagirathi vehicle flowing underneath. District officials, including district Judge Ashish Srivastava, ran there, but rescue efforts were hampered by a lack of light.
With the hill very steep, the rescue was delayed and continued until the morning. SRDF, police and ITBP teams are then descended to the other side and rescued eight passengers. The bodies were recovered, but have not yet been identified.
Chardham Yatra in since May 12, the pilgrims had visited Yamunotri and Gangotri and were on the road to Haridwar from where they had to go to Kedarnath, said Srivastava.
The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, condemned the loss of life in misery and announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each of the families of the deceased and 50,000 rupees for the wounded. Head of Government of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each father of the deceased.
Officials were also asked to identify dangerous areas on the annual Char Dham Yatra highways, set up speed monitor, ignite warnings and implement security gates.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan expressed his grief over the tragedy and gave instructions for immediate assistance to the victims.