As many as 13 people have died in the Kullu bus accident so far after one of the hospitalized patients succumbed to injuries, Parshant Sirkek, Additional District Magistrate of Kullu's Dhalpur confirmed on Monday.
Several teams have been stationed at the accident spot, while the injured persons were shifted to local hospitals in Kullu.
"We did not get to know what happened, the bus skidded on the soil. There must have been some 12-15 passengers on board. We did not get a chance to save ourselves, everything happened very quickly," said Gopal, the conductor of the bus which rolled off a cliff around 8 AM today at the Jangla area of Sainj valley on Neoli-Shansher road of Kullu district.
MLA of Himachal Pradesh's Banjar, Surender Shourie said, "We found that spot where the bus fell from actually had a landslide last night. The bus driver took a huge risk attempting to take the bus over it due to which bus skidded," Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also said that the bus was trying to overtake some boulders on the road due to rain last night. "It went out of control and fell down, he said stating that the cliff was too steep.
However, the CMO said that Thakur had announced a Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to the next of kin of the deceased whereas he assured to provide Rs 15,000 as immediate relief to each injured person. "He said that free treatment would also be provided to the injured persons," the CMO stated.
Condoling the deaths, Thakur had tweeted, "I received news about the private bus accident in Sainj valley of Kullu. The entire administration is present at the spot and the injured are being taken to the hospital. I pray to God to give peace to the departed souls and strength to bereaved families."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the kin of the deceased in the said accident of a Kullu school bus.
The Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for approving an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakhs and has asked the Chief Secretary to personally supervise the relief and rescue operations.
He said that a magisterial enquiry has been ordered to probe the cause of the accident and ADM Kullu would probe the whole incident.
Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh has directed Financial Commissioner Revenue and Divisional Commissioner Mandi to immediately rush to the accident spot to supervise the rescue operations, the CMO added.
Shah, however, assured NDRF assistance over the Kullu bus incident.