Five persons were killed and nine others injured on Tuesday when a government bus parked on a roadside rolled down into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, police said.
The driver was standing near the bus along with the conductor when the parked bus started to move and fell into the gorge near Khanag on Aut-Luhri road, some 90 km from district headquarters Kullu, police official Baldev Thakur told IANS on phone.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus was on way from Kullu to Bagipul.
Witnesses said locals, including students of a nearby government school, began rescue operations even before authorities could reach the spot.
A video footage of the bus rolling down the hill was captured by passersby and went viral on the social media.
“The bus had been parked due to a landslide ahead on the road. The driver was awaiting the arrival of another bus. A passenger, as per the survivors, meddled with the brakes and set the bus in motion. It rolled down a 300-feet gorge,” a police official said.
He said the culprit fled the spot but was apprehended from Bhuntar near Kullu town.
Expressing grief, Transport Minister G.S. Bali said a probe had been ordered into the incident.
“In case of driver’s negligence, action will be initiated against him,” he said.