Shooting boulders triggered by a landslide hit a tourist vehicle at the picuresque Sangla valley in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, killing nine tourists on a bright Sunday afternoon.
Video clips of the incident, which surfaced on social media, showed a bridge over the Baspa river collapsing after being hit by boulders. A house and some other vehicles were also damaged.
Saju Ram Rana, SP, Kinnaur, said the tourists had hired the vehicle on a sharing basis and they were on their way to Chitkul from Sangla. Rescue teams reached the spot, but stones were still rolling down, hampering operations. “The road has been closed for traffic and cops have been deployed on the affected stretch. Nearly 50 vehicles were stranded,” he said.
The vehicle, a Tempo Traveller, carrying 11 persons was passing through the spot where the rolling stones fell. While eight persons died on the spot, one succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. Three others, including a pedestrian, sustained injuries. The deceased were identified as Maya Devi Banyani (55), her son Anurag Biyani (31) and daughter Richa Biyana (35), all of Sikar (Rajasthan), driver Umrab Singh (42) of Delhi, Pratiksha Sunil Patil (27) of Maharashtra, Deepa Sharma (34) of Rajasthan, Amogh Bapat (27) and Satish Katakbar (34) of Chhattisgarh and Kumar Ulhas (37).
The injured — Shiril Oberoi (39) of Delhi, Naveen Bhardwaj (37) of Mohali and Ranjeet Singh (45) of Kinnaur — were under treatment at Community Health Centre, Sangla.