23 killed as truck falls into gorge in Uttarakhand

Last Updated: Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 20:27

Dehradun: Twenty-three people, mostly from
two Haryana villages, were today killed when a truck ferrying
`Kanwarias` (Shiva devotees) fell into a gorge in Uttarkashi
district of Uttarakhand.

The truck, which was on its on way to Gangotri, fell
into the 150-metre deep gorge killing 23 people, including the
driver and the cleaner, at Dabrani on Rishikesh-Gangotri
national highway, about 70 kms from here, Uttarkashi District
Magistrate Saurabh Jain said.

21 bodies of youths have been fished out by the police
and ITBP personnel and they have been sent for a post mortem,
he said, adding efforts are on to extricate two more bodies
from the accident site.

A pall of gloom descended on villages of Baghanki and
Kherki in Haryana`s Gurgaon district, from where nearly all
the youths killed belonged.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank
has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

The Haryana Government announced an exgratia of Rs two
lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased. Chief Minister
Bhupinder Singh Hooda expressed deep shock and grief over the
deaths and said that his government was in touch with the
administration of Uttarkashi to bring back the bodies.

Gurgaon district administration has sent of a team of
officers led by Tehsildar Manesar KS Dhaka to assist the
family members and villagers who have rushed to Uttarkashi,
according to the Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria.

A group of 29 youths from the two villages had gone on
the pilgrimage, Gurgaon district officials said, adding
efforts were on to identify those missing.

Heavy rains and floods over the last two days have
left six others dead and thrown life out of gear in
Uttarakhand.

Several important roads were washed away in the
heavy floods due to which a large number of villages were cut
off. A vital stretch of Raipur-Chamba road was also washed
away due to heavy floods in the river Song in Dehra Dun, where
large areas have been inundated leading to loss of property
after last night`s torrential rains that broke a 44-year
record.

Meanwhile, two `Kanwarias` from Uttar Pradesh were
today killed while another was injured when a motorcycle on
which they were riding collided with a bus at Jwalapur area of
Haridwar district, 47 km from here.

The incident took place when the motorcycle collided
head on with the bus killing Raju (20), a resident of
Ghaziabad and Bablu (22), a resident of Meerut on the spot,
police said.

Another person identified as Deepak was also injured
in the accident and he has been admitted to a nearby hospital,
they said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 20:27

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