27 children were among those killed after a school bus went off the road when it was taking the kids back to their homes. The bus plunged into a deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh, India.
According to the police, the kids were students of the Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School – a private school. There were 40 to 45 people on the bus, including school staff and students. The death toll rose to 30. The bodies were found with the help of local youth.
“I am deeply shocked to learn about the tragic bus accident…my heart goes out to the family members of the deceased,” wrote Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on his twitter account.
An investigation was opened to learn what happened
30 people, mostly kids, died when the school bus jumped into a gorge near the village of Gurchal, on the Nurpur-Chamba highway – which is about 100 km from the district headquarters at Dharamsala.
Indian president, Prime Minister, and vice-president have sent their condolences to the victim’s families.
“My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 67-year-old school driver, Madan Lal, and two women – who were teachers at the school – also died in the bus accident.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said: “extremely saddened to learn about the tragic school bus accident in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families and with those injured.”
About 13 people were seriously injured. They were quickly sent to the hospital in Pathankot, but it appears that another one died. There is another person in a critical condition.
Parents rushed to the deathly spot
The bus was carrying more than 40 people. The ages of the kids who died ranged between 4 and 12. Most of them were less than ten years old.
Families of each of the victims will receive immediate relief of Rs 500,000 – about US$ 7,700-, as it announced Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Parent of the deceased kids rushed to the spot of the accident as they heard about the news. Food and Supplies Minister, Krishan Kapoor, was also at the place of the accident to supervise the rescue operations. The bodies were rescued with the help of local people.
The accident happened around 4 p.m. when the kids were returning home from the school.
People suggested that the accident happened because the driver lost control over the bus and went off the road, and jumped into the deep gorge of about 300 feet deep. However, accidents like this one are quite common in India due to the terrible condition of infrastructure and inadequate safety measures. In 2017, a similar tragedy happened when 15 students died after their school bus collided with a truck.