10 killed, 9 injured in separate road accidents in Himachal

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Ten persons, including six pilgrims, were killed while nine others injured in two separate mishaps in Chamba and Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh today, police said.

Six Manimahesh pilgrims were killed and four others injured, including one critically, when their vehicle fell into a 200-feet gorge near Jot on the Holi-Palampur road in Chamba district, about 400 Km from here, they said.

The accident occurred when the driver, while giving a way to an HRTC bus, lost control and rammed it against the hill and later it rolled down into the gorge, killing five persons on the spot.

Another pilgrim succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital.

The four injured have been admitted to nearby civil hospitals and their condition was stated to be critical, police said.

The pilgrims, residents of Nagrota Surian of Kangra district, were returning from Manimahesh pilgrimage.

The deceased have been identified as Pankaj Balaoria, Jaswan, Abhinesh, Samsher, Anil Kumar, Sonu, while the injured include Chhinda, Ashish Khabla, Ankush Guleria and Ajay Kumar.

Deputy Commissioner, Chamba, Sudesh Mokhta said an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 each has been provided to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 5,000 each for the injured persons.

In another incident, four persons were buried alive and five others injured when a huge mound of earth fell on their vehicle following a massive landslide at Manihar village in Garsa valley of Kullu district.

The bodies of the three victims have been extricated from the debris while rescue operations were on to retrieve the body of the fourth victim, Sub Divisional Magistrate Rohit Rathor said.

They have been identified as Laxman (38)and Nanda from Jharkhand, Khem Raj (50) from Nepal and Sugrin Gupta (29) from Bihar, reported to be employees of Parbati hydel power project.

There were nine persons travelling in the vehicle when it was hit by the landslide. Two occupants of the vehicle escaped with minor injuries; three others received serious injuries and the two critically injured Bhupender Negi from Uttarakhand and Khem Singh of Sunder Nagar in Mandi were referred to PGI, Chandigarh. Rs 15,000 has been given to each of them as interim relief, Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, Hans Raj Chauhan said.

Prakash and Pramod from Uttarakhand and Dharmendra form Bihar were admitted to a regional hospital in Kullu, he added.

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