14 killed, over 40 injured in bus accident in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: At least 14 people were killed and over 40 others injured in a road accident in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district, officials said on Sunday.

The ill-fated overcrowded Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus with over 55 people on board was en route to Rekong Peo in Kinnaur district from Dharamsala, when it fell into a gorge near Jogindernagar, some 200 km from the state capital, on Saturday night.

Witnesses told police that the cause of the accident was overloading and bad condition of the road.

 "A portion of the road caved in when the bus was stationary and the driver was allowing another vehicle coming from the opposite side to cross," survivor Karam Singh said.

The toll could increase as most of the injured were in critical condition, a police official said.

He said most of the injured have been admitted to Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College at Tanda and hospitals in Jogindernagar.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College on Sunday to enquire about the health of accident victims.

Expressing grief over the accident, Transport Minister G.S. Bali ordered a magisterial inquiry into it and announced compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the families of the victims.

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