Dehradun |Seven people were killed and 28 injured when a bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat fell into a gorge in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Sunday.
The bus with 35 people on board was returning from Gangotri. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the bus at Gangnani.
Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi told PTI over phone that the accident took place around 4.15 pm on the Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway in Bhatwadi tehsil.
He said seven pilgrims, all residents of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, died on the spot. The SP said the bus had 35 occupants at the time of the accident.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said the administration is in constant touch with the Uttarakhand government.
"I am saddened by the tragic incident in which the pilgrims from Gujarat lost their lives after the bus fell into the gorge in Uttarakhand. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased," Patel posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured citizens," he added.
After getting information about the accident, teams of police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the spot and started rescue and relief operations. They took out the injured from the gorge and sent them to the Uttarkashi district hospital through ambulance.
SP Yaduvanshi said out of the 28 injured, 11 have suffered serious injuries and have been sent to AIIMS, Rishikesh.
A police official said all the injured pilgrims are residents of Bhavnagar and Surat districts of Gujarat.
Uttarkashi District Magistrate Abhishek Ruhela and Yaduvanshi also reached the spot to supervise the rescue and relief operations.
Expressing grief over the accident, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami prayed for the victims and strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss. He also wished for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Earlier, as soon as the information about the accident was received, Dhami, who is in Delhi, immediately spoke to the top officials and directed them to carry out relief and rescue operations at a fast pace.
Dhami said a helicopter has been kept ready in Dehradun to provide assistance, if required. However, it could not take off due to bad weather.
He said he also spoke to Uttarkashi district in-charge minister Premchand Aggarwal and Additional Chief Secretary over phone and asked them to supervise the rescue operations.
Uttarakhand has been reeling under incessant rains that have triggered landslides and flash floods in many places