25 dead, five injured as Bus carrying Pilgrims falls into george into Uttarakhand, PM Modi announces Ex-Gratia

Guwahati: At least 25 people have died and five have been people injured after a bus carrying pilgrims fell into a gorge near Damta in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Sunday (June 5). 

The bus was carrying 28 passengers, a driver and a conductor from Panna district in Madhya Pradesh to Yamunotri.

According to officials of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), which is involved in the rescue and relief operation along with the district administration, 25 bodies have been recovered and the five injured people taken to a nearby hospital. The passengers were on their way to Yamunotri Dham in Uttarkashi.

“On Sunday evening we were informed that around 4 km ahead of Damta, under the Purola police station area, a tourist bus fell into a gorge. The bus reportedly had 28-30 passengers and fell into a 150-metre-deep gorge. Soon after getting the information, SDRF teams reached the spot and started a rescue operation. Backup teams from Ujeli, Mori, Chakrata, and Sahastradhara posts have also been sent,” read a statement issued by the SDRF.

“So far, we have recovered 25 bodies from the spot and five were injured. As per unverified information, one of the injured died during treatment. There were a total of 30 persons on the bus–28 pilgrims, a driver and a conductor,” said an SDRF official, adding that the rescue operation was going on.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the district administration has been directed for speedy relief and rescue work.
“I myself have kept an eye on the situation after reaching the disaster control room. Local administration and SDRF teams are engaged in rescue work and NDRF team is also reaching there soon,” CM Dhami said in a tweet in Hindi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. He tweeted, “Local admin & SDRF teams engaged in rescue work. Injured being taken to a hospital for treatment. NDRF reaching soon.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in a tweet in Hindi wrote, “The death of pilgrims of Panna district of Madhya Pradesh after a bus going to Yamunotri Dham on pilgrimage to Chardham in Uttarakhand fell into a gorge. May God grant peace to the departed souls and give strength to the bereaved family members to bear the loss.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured in the tragic accident.

PM Modi also said that under the supervision of the state government, the local administration is engaged in all possible assistance on the spot.

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