Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Mortal remains of the tourists who died in a bus accident in Uttarakhand will be air-lifted to Madhya Pradesh by an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft on Monday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
All the bodies have been extricated and sent to Dehradun airport. By 2 p.m, a special aircraft will fly them to Khajuraho, the CM said, adding that he has requested Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to provide an IAF plane for the same.
"The bodies will be taken to Khajuraho airport and therafter sent to their homes via buses. Since all the victims belonged to Panna, the bodies will reach their families in an hour or two from Khajuraho," he stated.
Chief Minister Chouhan, along with few senior officials, had left for Uttarakhand late on Sunday and stayed in Dehradun rescue monitoring room.
On Monday morning, he, accompanied by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, visited the accident spot. "I met the bus driver who is undergoing treatment at Max hospital in Dehradun. He said the accident occurred due to failure of steering. He tried to control the bus by hitting it against a rock, but it fell into the deep gorge," Chouhan said.
The bus was carrying a total of 30 people, including the driver and helper. The chief minister also expressed his gratitude to the Uttarakhand government and rescue teams for their immediate action. "I would also like to thank the local people who joined the rescue operation and the bodies of all tourists were recovered by late Sunday," he said.
A total of 25 bodies have been recovered. Five injured people were rushed to a nearby hospital. The passengers were on their way to Yamunotri Dham in Uttarkashi. The accident occurred on Sunday evening when the bus fell into a 150-metre-deep gorge. On getting the information, SDRF teams reached the spot and launched a rescue operation.
Meanwhile, minsiter Chouhan also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. The government will also bear all medical expenses of the injured.