Four persons died on the spot and 40 others were injured, seven of them critically, when a Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) bus rolled down 300 feet from a mountain road at Ambithang in North Sikkim district on Thursday.
Official reports received from the district said the accident took place when the SNT bus driver tried to overtake another vehicle at the narrow stretch near the North district headquarter town and fell on the road below. The bus was on way to Mangan, the North district headquarter from Gangtok about 70 km away. The accident took place about 1 km from Mangan at around 11.45 a m, the reports said. Immediately after the accident Army and police personnel and representatives of the district administration as well as locals rushed to the spot and carried out rescue operations. Three bodies were retreived from the bus 41 injured were rushed to the local public health centre. After first aid the injured were moved to hospitals in Gangtok, where another passenger died. The bus driver is among the critically injured.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling visited the injured at the hsopital here and assured them of help. He also handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of each of the three dead and Rs 50,000 to each of the injured. State Transport Minister D T Lepcha, senior offciers of the department and SNT rushed to the spot.