Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 15
A pall of gloom descended in Dhapai and its adjoining areas as soon as the reports of a tragic road mishap that claimed 10 lives and in which 45 persons were injured in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh came today.
Residents had gone to pay obeisance at the Chintpurni and the Jawalaji temples on the occasion of Sangrandh (full moon night).
As per information, the driver of the bus carrying the pilgrims lost control of the vehicle and it rolled down a 30-foot gorge near Dhaliara. The driver was negotiating a sharp curve because he tried to save a collision with a car coming from the opposite direction.
Uncertainty prevailed in the area because people were yet to find out the identity of the deceased. A team of the district administration led by a Tehsildar and the Assistant Civil Surgeon along with police officials has left for Himachal Pradesh to extend all possible help.
Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Sangha said the Additional Deputy Commissioner was in constant touch with the Dehra SDM, who was entrusted to oversee rescue operations.
The police teams were also in the area to know the antecedents of the injured and the deceased persons. As per reports, out of the deceased, three persons have been identified.
During a visit to the local area, the residents were found to be in a state of shock and uncertainty. They were get information from each other and even if they knew it, they are keeping silent due to lack of confirmation of the facts.
Tragedy struck the family of Swaran Kaur, a resident of the Sheesha Da Ahata area on Dhapai Road, who has reportedly died in the mishap. She was the sole bread winner of the family. Her husband Sardari Lal has been ill and is bed-ridden while one of her two sons is mentally retarded. The younger son works in a shop. The people have not informed the family about her death were making arrangements for food for them. The family members of the victims have left for Dhaliara while the people were seen comforting them. They were seen calling repeatedly on them.
The pilgrimage was arranged by the Jai Mata Chintpurni Sabha, which they do on every Sangrandh. Though the yatra started five years ago, it was discontinued later. It was restarted two months back. This was the second pilgrimage to Chintpurni, Jawalaji and Kangra Devi temples in Himachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed deep shock and grief over the tragic incident. He directed the local administration to send a team to Himachal Pradesh and extend every possible support to the victims.
Congress MLA Om Parkash Soni has also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families.
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