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Twelve dead after vehicle falls into gorge in Chamoli

Overloaded vehicle meets with mishap on deteriorated road

Saturday, 19 November 2022 | PNS | JOSHIMATH/DEHRADUN

Twelve people were killed and five were injured on Friday after the vehicle they were travelling in fell into a gorge about 500 metres deep near Palla Jakhol village on Dumak road in the Joshimath block of Chamoli district. The governor lieutenant general (retd) Gurmit Singh and chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami have expressed grief at the mishap and loss of lives. The chief minister has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the mishap while also directing the officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured. An ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each has been announced for the next of kin of those killed in the accident. Those injured in the mishap will be provided medical treatment free of cost, the chief minister ordered.

The officials informed that as soon as the police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) received information about the accident, the authorities reached the accident site. The officials said that one SDRF team was immediately sent to the spot and another one from Pandukeshwar was dispatched to the accident site too. The Chamoli district magistrate Himanshu Khurana, superintendent of police (SP) Pramendra Dobhal and other senior officials also reached the accident site during the rescue operation. The SDRF recovered 12 bodies from the gorge including 10 men and two women besides five injured men who were immediately transported to the hospital for treatment. The authorities said that the vehicle fell into a gorge in the evening but the reason for the accident is still not clear. 

Observers point out that the mishap in Chamoli district has once again exposed the claims being made by authorities. The ill-fated Sumo taxi was overloaded despite the authorities stating that measures are being taken to prevent such dangerous violations. The condition of the road where the mishap occurred is also deteriorated. The top authorities issues instructions to take “strict” action to prevcent overloading of vehicles after every accident involving overloaded vehicle. However, this practice has continued unabated especially in the mountainous regions of the State. 

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