At least nine people died and five were injured after a multi-utility vehicle (MUV) they were travelling in plunged into a gorge in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on Sunday afternoon, said officials.
The accident happened in Dewal area, about 150km from the Chamoli district headquarters at Gopeshwar.
‘As per initial information, 14 people, all residents of Tharali area of the district were travelling in the vehicle after returning from a funeral in a village when the driver lost control and the vehicle plunged into a gorge adjacent to the road. We received information about the accident at about 1 pm,’ said Nandkishor Joshi, district disaster management officer.
‘So far the rescue team has recovered nine bodies from the spot and rushed five injured to hospital. However, a confirmed final report is yet to come as communication lines are weak at the spot which is at a remote location up in the hills,’ he said.
When contacted, Yahswant Singh, Superintendent of Police, Chamoli, said, ‘Due to the spot’s difficult location and weak communication lines, we had a difficulty to avail information from the spot. So far in the initial investigation, the driver who was among the injured told that it was a kachcha road which might have caused him to lose the control resulting in the tragedy,’ said Singh.
Earlier in August this year, at least children had died after their school vehicle fell in a deep gorge in Lamgaon area of Tehri Garhwal district. Last year in another big accident, 50 people were killed after the bus they were travelling in fell into a gorge in Dhumakot area of Pauri Garhwal district.