Shimla/Dharamshala – As many as 30 persons, including 27 students, were killed on Monday when a private school bus fell into a gorge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Superintendent of Police Santosh Patyal confirmed the deaths. All the dead students were below the age of 10. The bus driver and two teachers were among the dead. The death toll could rise as some students were still trapped in the mangled bus even as the rescue operation is on, police added. Local villagers had begun rescue operation even before officials could reach the spot, eyewitnesses said.Teams of local administration and the National Disaster Response Force were involved in the rescue and faced tough time in pulling out the victims from the mangled bus. Some of the injured were referred to hospitals in Pathankot in Punjab. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered magisterial inquiry into the accident to ascertain the cause of mishap. He said the state government would provide all possible assistance to the family members of deceased children. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor along-with MLA Rakesh Pathania and Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Sandeep Kumar reached the spot to supervise the rescue and relief operations. Transport Minister Govind Thakur and all other members of the state Cabinet have condoled the death of school children.
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