A day after the school bus accident in Himachal’s Kangra district in which 27 persons were killed, the exact cause of the tragedy is still not clear. While majority of the injured are yet to record their statements, Ranbir (9) who crawled out of the gorge and raised an alarm about the tragedy, has claimed that a motorcycle had come in front of the bus leading to the accident. Officials are yet to corroborate that version. Also, the reports about the driver of the bus having a heart attack are yet to be verified.
Even as the list of the deceased provided by the Nurpur APRO’s office on Tuesday mentioned the driver’s age as 65, his family shared a copy his Aadhaar card with The Indian Express that recorded his date of birth as April 28, 1960. He would have turned 58 at the end of this month.
“My father never had any heart ailment and he was a very active man. He used to work on our small farm and along with his driving job,” said his daughter Khushboo (32) at the deceased driver’s house at Nera village, around 7 km from the accident site.
Ranjit Singh from the same village said: “The driver was a very nice man and hardly used to take leaves. We had not heard anything about any such (heart) ailment.”
Asked if the driver had suffered a heart attack, Nurpur SDM Abid Hussain said no such thing had come to light and nothing concrete can be said about it till the viscera report comes out. The report, he said, will come after 40 days. He also confirmed that according to his Aadhaar card, the driver was almost 58 years old. The driver is survived by his wife, Kanta Devi (53), son Digvijay Singh (23), daughter Khushboo (32).
The SDM added that the CM had already asked for formation of a committee to probe the accident, and the same will be constituted by Wednesday with experts from different departments on board.
All the deceased belong to half a dozen villages spread over a radius of around 15-20 km. More than 80 per cent of the link roads around these villages are in bad shape. A trip around the villages revealed the link roads to be narrow, uneven, with wide open drains on both sides.