CHANDIGARH: Eight persons died in two separate incidents in the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on Monday.
In the first incident, two schoolchildren died and six others were injured after a bus fell down a 500-feet deep gorge at Jhinjeri near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
The children are students of Convent of Jesus and Mary Chelsea travelling in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus.
The deceased have been identified as Naresh and 13-year-old Mehak and Manya. The students died on the way to the hospital.
The injured who have been admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla are 15-year-old Sunidhi, 14-year-old Umang Chandel, Sarin Thakur, Ritika and Anushi Sharma all 13 years of age and bus conductor Suresh.
According to the eyewitnesses, lack of crash barrier and a narrow road along with haphazard parking of vehicles are mainly responsible for the mishap. The ambulance carrying the injured was blocked by angry locals who demanded a complete ban on parking on Jhinjeri road.
The bus reportedly had more students to pick up and the casualty figure could have gone up.
Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj who reached the accident spot faced protest from locals, who were blaming the government’s callousness towards the safety of the passengers.
The irate mob smashed the windscreen of nearly 20 vehicles parked on the roadside. The police have taken two persons into custody.
Earlier 44 passengers lost their lives when a mechanically unfit and overcrowded minibus met with an accident in Kullu earlier this month on June 20. Thirty-five other passengers had suffered grievous injuries in that accident.
Meanwhile, in another road accident, five of a family were killed on Sirsa-Dabwali road in Haryana.
While three of them died on the spot, two others succumbed to their injuries when they were being rushed to the hospital.
The deceased has been identified as Vikas Bansal his wife and daughter.