Shimla/Nurpur: Twenty seven children were among 30 killed when a school bus ferrying them back home plunged into a deep gorge near village Gurchal on the Nurpur-Chamba highway, about 100 km from the district headquarters at Dharamsala.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF have reached the accident site at Kangra's Nurpur town, 220 kilometres from state capital Shimla. Some children who had been trapped inside the mangled bus have been rescued.
The deceased children were students of Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School. School bus driver, 67-year-old Madan Lal, and two women teachers also died in the accident, Kangra SP Santosh Patial said.
At least 13 seriously injured persons were rushed to a hospital in Pathankot where one of them succumbed to injuries, an official said. The condition of other injured persons was also critical. The bus was carrying 40-45 people and most of those killed were students of elementary classes, aged below ten, PTI reported.
The children were on their way home when their bus fell into the gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road, some 300 km from Shimla. Eyewitnesses said the driver probably lost control of the vehicle, which skidded into the gorge.
The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh relief for the families of the dead and said it will bear the cost of treatment of the injured children.
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