13 killed in Uttarakhand as vehicle falls into gorge

13 killed in Uttarakhand as vehicle falls into gorge

Dehradun: Thirteen persons were killed and two critically injured when rubble from a landslide hit a tempo-traveller on the Gangotri highway in Uttarkashi on Monday, police said.

There were 15 locals in all in the vehicle, police said, adding they were returning after offering prayers at the Gangotri temple.

Most of the victims are from one family, an official said. The bodies of the 13 victims have been taken out of the gorge.

“The vehicle when hit by the falling rubble of the landslide tumbled down into a deep gorge. Two girls, however, survived with serious injuries as they managed to cling on to a rock,” he said.

Locals, including the village head of Sanglai, rushed to the accident site and tried to rescue the passengers. Police personnel from the Bhatwali police station and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams also reached the site.

The district administration roped in personnel from Indo-Tibetian Police Force (ITBP) in the rescue operation, officials said.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has condoled the death of 13 persons and has directed district officials to ensure treatment of the two survivors.