Twelve people were killed and over 42 others injured when Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus plunged into a gorge near Galu in Jogindernagar area of Mandi district last evening.

The ill-fated overcrowded Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus with over 55 people on board was enroute to Rekong Peo from Dharamsala, when it fell into a gorge near Jogindernagar, some 200 km from the state capital, on Saturday night.

Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh have mourned the death of passengers. In his condolence message, the Governor expressed sympathies with the families of the deceased and prayed for peace of the departed souls.

The Chief Minister expressed condolences with the families who lost their near and dear ones. He also visited Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda today and enquired the well-being of the injured persons and wished them speedy recovery.

Chief Minister announced Rs. five lakh to the kin of the deceased and directed the district administration to take effective steps to provide relief to the victims.

Transport Minister GS Bali has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the mishap.

Immediate relief of Rs. 10,000 each has been given to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 5,000 each to the injured by the district administration. Himachal Road Transport Corporation also disbursed relief to the injured persons as well as the kin of the deceased.

In another accident seven pilgrimage, returning after paying obeisance at the Jwalamukhi temple in Kangra, killed when the bus they were travelling fell into a 50 metre deep gorge near Dhaliara on the Dehra-Chintpurni road in Kangra district.

All the deceased were from Chheharta area of Amritsar district in Punjab. The bus was carrying 40 passengers. The injured were shifted to the Dehra government hospital, and later 16 seriously injured were referred to Tanda Medical College.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.