In a tragic accident 23 people were killed and around 17 others injured when a private bus fell into the backwaters of Gobind Sagar reservoir near Rahian bridge in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday morning.
Accident took place when driver lost control over the wheel while passing through the dam area.
The ill-fated private bus was on its way from Rishikesh to Bilaspur. All injured have been shifted to the nearby hospital.
Eyewitness stated that the 40-seater bus was packed to capacity and some passengers were even travelling on its roof.
Expressing grief over the deaths, the Chief Minister said that he was pained over the tragic mishap. He expressed the condolences with the families who lost their near and dear ones in the tragic mishap and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
Chief Minister said that a sum of Rs. 10,000 each has been given as an immediate relief to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 5,000 each to the injured, adding that ex-gratia amount of Rs 1.50 Lakh to the next of kin of those who died in the mishap will soon be distributed.
The Chief Minister said that all expenses on medical treatment of injured and other logistics will be taken care of by the Government.
The state government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the mishap. Additional District Magistrate, Bilaspur will be the enquiry officer who will submit the report within one week to the Government, said the Chief Minister.
Principal Secretary, (Revenue), Tarun Shridhar and DGP Sanjay Kumar rushed to the spot besides, other senior officers of the district administration also were present on the spot and mobilized relief, rescue and search operations. Police, Home-guards and other field functionaries were pressed into service. BBMB divers were also pressed into rescue operations. Services of the local fishermen were also utilized and they along-with local people helped in carrying out the relief operations.
Transport Minister G.S Bali also mourned the death of passengers who died in this accident.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rajesh Dharmani, Chairman, Disaster Management Board Rajinder Rana, also visited the spot to take stock of the rescue operation. They also went to Bilaspur hospital and asked the well being of the injured.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh, Brij Bihari Lal Butail, Speaker, H.P. Vidhan Sabha, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries have also expressed grief over the bus accident.