12 killed, 3 injured as vehicle falls into gorge in Uttarakhand's Chamoli

12 killed, 3 injured as vehicle falls into gorge in Uttarakhand's Chamoli
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Gopeshwar/Dehradun: Twelve people, including two women, were killed and three injured as a passenger vehicle fell into a deep gorge in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Friday, the State Disaster Response Force said.

A Tata Sumo carrying 17 passengers fell into a gorge at Urgam in Joshimath area of the district at around 4 pm, said the SDRF which carried out the rescue operation.

The passengers were on their way to Palla Jakhol village from Joshimath when the accident occurred, Chamoli SP Pramendra Dobhal said.

Two of the occupants jumped out of the vehicle in the nick of time, the SP said.

The SDRF has recovered all the 12 bodies.

The gorge was around 300 metres deep and reaching the spot where the remains of the vehicle lay was difficult, an eyewitness told PTI over the phone.

The vehicle is said to have been overloaded with some occupants also sitting on its roof.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed grief at the loss of lives in the accident and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of those killed.

He spoke to the District Magistrate of Chamoli, Himanshu Khurana, over the phone and asked him to ensure that free medical treatment is provided to the injured.

According to a list issued by the SDRF, those killed in the accident were identified as Dalip Singh Chauhan, Sitab Singh Chauhan, Subodh Singh, Vikram Singh, Kashmira Devi, Lakshman Singh, Tajwar Singh, Rajeshwari, Gajendra Singh, Ranjit Singh and Gabbar Singh and Shiv Singh.

Most of those killed were from Kimana, Kalkot, Dumak and Palla villages.

The injured included Ajit Yadav from Allahabad, Rohit Prajapati from Hapur and Mahavir Singh.

Hemant Chauhan and Jeetpal escaped unhurt, the SP office said.