Manali: Nine women, a girl child and driver of a multi-utility vehicle were killed and 6 others serious injured when the vehicle lost controlled and rolled into a deep valley near Nagar in Kullu valley.
Th dead have been identified as Nithu Devi (50), Mohini (45), Kusum Lata (26),Devindra (25), Kamla (24), Radhika (6months), Dolma (55), Nirmala(34), Kamla (26), Besru (33) and Hira La l(40) driver of the Tata pick-up vehicle (No HP-66-0722) All of them were residents of Nathan village in the valley.
Among the injured were Fagli Devi, Chet Ram ,Manoj Kumar, Lot Ram and Izztu Devi, also residents of Nathan village. Upon being rescued, the injured were shifted to Naggar hospital.
Eyewitnesses said the accident victims had come to purchase their monthly rations at the government depot when the vehicle lost control between Jarmjot near Nashala (32 Km for Manali) and rolled more than 250 meters into the valley.
The vehicle was overloaded with passengers and the rations, when trying to negotiate a steep gradient the vehicle is believed to have lost gear power, and started moving in the reverse direction to go off the road and fall into the valley.
The district administration rushed in a rescue and relief team, who with the help of locals were able to retrieve the victims and the bodies of the deceased.
Transport minister G S Bali who was in the area, alongwith local MLA Govind Singh Thakur and Kullu SDM Viney SinghThakur also rushed to the spot to supervise relief and rescue operation.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.