In a tragic accident, eighteen persons were killed and 26 injured when a private bus (HP65-3444) plunged into the Beas River near Bindravani in Mandi district.
There are two couples among dead. At least 14 persons died on the spot while others succumbed to their injuries later, some on way to the regional hospital Mandi and some after reaching there. 10-month-old infant is also died in the accident.
As per eyewitness, the overspeeding bus was overtaking a truck and hit a motorcycle on its opposite side, and then plunged into the Beas River. The ill-fated bus was enroute Kullu town from Mandi.
Chief Medical Officer Desraj Sharma said three of the injured had been referred to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla.
Transport Minister G.S. Bali announced to provide financial assistance of rupees one lakh each to the next of kin of deceased and Rs. 25000 each to the seriously injured and Rs. 5000 each to passengers who have sustained minor injuries as immediate relief in addition to relief provided under the Relief Manual.
Bali has directed to initiate an inquiry into the accident through Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) Mandi, Regional Transport Officer, Mandi, Divisional Manager, HRTC Mandi and Regional Manager (Technical) HRTC Mandi who will submit their report within 15 days.
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh have mourned the death of passengers and wished a speedy recovery of injured.
The Chief Minister has directed the district administration to provide all possible assistance to the family members of the victims and to those injured in the accident.