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11 killed as private vehicle falls into gorge near Rohtang Pass

The victims were on their way towards Pangi from Manali when the accident occurred on Wednesday night

SNS | New Delhi |

All 11 people travelling in a private vehicle were killed when it skidded off the road and fell into a gorge near the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, police said on Thursday. Among those dead are five women and three children.

Police were yet to ascertain the identities of the victims.

The accident occurred near Rahni Nullah on the Manali-Leh highway, 47 km from here. The victims were on their way towards Pangi from Manali when the accident occurred.

Prima facie, poor visibility owing to rainfall was believed to be the cause of the accident, Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri told IANS over telephone.

She said the accident occurred on Wednesday night but the police came to know about it only on Thursday morning.

Witnesses said the administration had a tough time in extracting the victims from the gorge. The villagers started the rescue operations before the authorities could reach the spot.

The deceased have been identified as Kalpana, Anjana, Meena, Monika, three children Ayushman, Naksh, Kunti (aged between one and 7 years) and Premraj, while two bodies are yet to be identified.

A case has been registered in this regard and further investigations are on to find put the exact cause behind the accident.

Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the deaths. The Governor has expressed his sympathies with the bereaved family members and prayed to the Almighty for peace of the departed souls.

The CM said that as soon as the information about the accident was received, he directed the Kullu district administration to immediately rush to the spot to carry out the relief and rescue operations. The directions were also given to provide all possible help to the family members of the victims.

He said the government was with the family members at this time of distress and all possible assistance would be provided to the bereaved family members.

Bharmaur MLA Jia Lal has also mourned the deaths and expressed his heartfelt sympathies with the family members.