Shimla: A car carrying BJP workers that was taking them to participate in an election rally organised in Bhatkidhar, in the Siraj constituency of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in Mandi, fell 500 m into a trench, killing five workers of the party on Sunday morning. The condition of the injured driver admitted to the medical college at Ner Chowk, is critical.
The Alto car (number HP 32B-3487) had six people including the driver. Four of the dead hailed from one village. All the BJP workers were friends with each other.
The dead political workers have been identified as Kunwar Singh’s son Bhadru Ram (village Hanchal), Premraj’s son Damodar Das, Roshan Lal’s son Paush, Chiranji Lal’s son Narpat and Krishna’s son Bhag Chand of Jhamach village.
The driver has been identified as Khem Chand’s son Kahan Singh, who is a resident of Chedakhadd.
The accident is said to have been caused by driver’s negligence as he overloaded the small car with people more than its capacity, which increased the centrifugal force of the car as it took a turn to an uncontrollable level. According to the information received, as soon as the car, after leaving Shivakhadd, reached Dhavas, about 1 km from Bagachanogi, the driver lost control over the car, causing the car to plunge 500 m deep. Hearing the noise of the thud, locals rushed for rescue.
[pullquote]The driver had overloaded the Alto car beyond its capacity, which increased the centrifugal force that threw it into a trench during a turn[/pullquote]
The villagers could find only mangled remains of the car. The bodies of the BJP workers were found scattered in different places. The villagers then informed the Janjaihali police station.
The police reached the spot. With the help of some villagers, they took the injured driver immediately in an ambulance to the Medical College of Ner Chowk.
Police have started investigating the incident by registering a case of negligence against the driver. The superintendent of police of Mandi, Gurdev Chand Sharma, said that the police had sent the dead bodies for a post-mortem.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed deep sorrow at the incident. He reached the spot and consoled the bereaved families. Due to the accident, the chief minister cancelled the Bhatkidhar election rally.
On behalf of the administration, Rs 10,000 each will be paid to the immediate relations of the dead and the injured.