Shimla: All 73 passengers were injured when a private mini bus carrying them skidded off the road and rolled down a hill in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district on Monday, police said. The injured were mostly school children and government employees.
The 42-seater bus was coming to Kullu town from Jawalapur when it met with the accident near Jala, about 200 km from the state capital.
“All passengers, mostly belonging to Jawalapur, Nagwain and nearby areas, sustained injuries and 59 of them have been admitted to the Regional Hospital in Kullu,” Naib Tehsildar Hira Chand told IANS.
One of the injured has been referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh.
Eyewitnesses said the bus was overcrowded and the driver appeared to have lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn.
The local administration had a tough time extracting the victims from inside the bus. Villagers had already started rescuing the injured before the authorities reached the spot.
“As the bus rolled down the hill, it got stuck on a tree that prevented it from sliding further,” survivor Rajat Thakur told police.
The bus was in poor condition, not fit to ply the narrow badly damaged roads after the recent rains.
Scarcity of buses and poor frequency of government-run buses in the area are to be blamed for overloading of public transport vehicles.