2 school kids among 3 dead in Shimla accident (Lead)



Two school children and the driver of a bus were killed and five others injured when a state-run bus of a private school rolled down into a gorge in the Himachal Pradesh capital on Monday, police said.

The injured were admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here.

The students, belonging to Convent of Jesus and Mary Chelsea, were travelling in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus. The accident occurred in Lower Khalini. The dead included bus driver Naresh.

Witnesses told the police that lack of crash barrier and narrow road with haphazard parking of vehicles were mainly responsible for the accident.

Local legislator and Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj who reached the accident spot, faced protest from locals, who were blaming the government's callousness towards the safety of the passengers and ensuring parking in the area. He left the spot hurriedly.

The mob smashed windscreens of nearly 20 vehicles parked on the road side. The police have arrested two people.

Less than a fortnight ago, 44 passengers lost their lives when a mechanically unfit overcrowded mini bus met with an accident in Kullu district on June 20. Thirty-five other passengers received grievous injuries in that accident. IANS