At least 24 Char Dham pilgrims were killed while eight others injured after a bus carrying devotees from Indore in Madhya Pradesh plunged into a gorge near Dharasu in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand on Tuesday, reports said.
The bus was returning from Gangotri and was on its way to Chinyalisaur when it fell into a 250m deep gorge.
Soon after the incident, the district officials including district magistrate Ashish Srivastava rushed to the spot but owing to darkness rescue efforts were hampered.
The eight injured, who were rescued after great efforts and difficulty, have been admitted at the Community Health Centre at Chinyalisaud while three persons among the deceased were still missing, a police official said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has condoled the loss of lives in the mishap and has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for those injured.
Officials have also been asked to identify danger zones on routes of the annual ‘Chaar Dham Yatra’, put up speed monitors, turning warnings and put up crash barriers.