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16 killed as school bus falls into gorge in Kullu in Himachal

Around 40 people, including schoolchildren, were in the bus which was heading for Sainj. The mishap took place near Jangla village at around 8.30 am. The toll is likely to go up.

KULLU, July 4: Sixteen people were killed when a school bus fell into a gorge in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh on Monday morning. Schoolchildren were among those dead. The vehicle was heavily damaged. Kullu Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Garg said the bus was heading for Sainj and the mishap took place near Jangla village at around 8.30 am.

About 40 people were in the bus. The injured were being rushed to a nearby hospital. Rescue operations were continuing in the Jangla area of Sainj valley on Neoli-Shansher Road of Kullu district. Death toll is expected to rise. So far, 16 bodies have been retrieved from the gorge.

The Prime Minister's office has tweeted that the families of those killed in the accident would receive a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each. "The Prime Minister has approved an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic bus accident in Himachal Pradesh. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each," it said.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered an inquiry into the accident. He said Rs 5 lakh each would be provided to the kin of those killed. The injured would get an immediate assistance of Rs 15,000 and they would be treated for free.

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