Shillai: 17 people were killed when an overloaded private bus rolled down a 400-feet deep gorge at Milla near Shillai under Paonta Sahib Sub-division of Sirmaur district.

Nearly two dozen people were injured in the accident that took place near Timbi in Shillai area.

Police has recovered all the bodies from the wreckage of the bus. The bus was on its way from Milla village to Paonta Sahib.

The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained but the survivors said one of the front wheels of the bus came out while the driver was at the wheel.

Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh have mourned the death of passengers.

The Chief Minister has directed the district administration for medical treatment of the injured besides ensuring all possible assistance.

The district administration has provided immediate relief of Rs. 20,000 each to the family members of the deceased and Rs. 15,000 to the injured.

Transport Minister G.S Bali has also condoled the death of 17 people in the accident. He has ordered to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of SDM, Paonta Sahib which will submit its report within 15 days besides constituting a Technical Committee to ascertain the causes of the accident.

He said that Rs. 2.5 lakh would be given to the family members of each deceased under Relief Manual and Passenger Ex-gratia scheme.