Twelve people including two women were killed, and three injured when a passenger vehicle fell into the gorge in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on November 18, Friday, informed the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). CM Pushkarsingh Dhami ordered a magisterial inquiry into the accident and announced to give Rs. 2 lakh compensation each to the next of kin of the deceased.
A Tata Sumo carrying 17 passengers fell into a gorge at Urgam Pala Jakhola road in the Joshimath area, at around 4 pm, said the SDRF which carried out the rescue work.
The passengers were travelling from the Palla Jakhol village to Joshimath when the accident occurred, informed Chamoli SP Pramendra Dobhal. The vehicle was overloaded with some people also occupying space on the roof. Most of the deceased were from the Kimana, Kalkot, Dumak and Palla villages.
The gorge was over 300 metres deep and the place where the vehicle landed up after losing control was difficult to reach, PTI quoted a phone conversation with an eye-witness. The SDRF has identified and recovered all the dead bodies.
CM Dhami announces compensation
Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami expressed grief over the vehicle accident. He spoke to the District Magistrate Chamoli on the phone and instructed him to conduct relief and rescue work at a fast pace and also provide free medical treatment to the injured. CM also announced an ex-gratia compensation of ₹ 2 lakh each to the next of those killed.
According to a list issued by the SDRF, those killed in the accident were identified as Dalip Singh Chauhan, Sitab Singh Chauhan, Subodh Singh, Vikram Singh, Kashmira Devi, Lakshman Singh, Tajwar Singh, Rajeshwari, Gajendra Singh, Ranjit Singh and Gabbar Singh and Shiv Singh.
The injured persons included Ajit Yadav from Allahabad, Rohit Prajapati from Hapur and Mahavir Singh. Hemant Chauhan and Jeetpal who escaped from the vehicle in the nick of time were unhurt, the SP office said.