On Thursday, June 12th at 12.30 PM EST ISKCON Communications Minister and Governing Body Commission Chairman has released the following statement:
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“This is the updated report about the tragic bus accident that claimed at least two lives of Russian ISKCON devotees who were visiting holy places in Northern India.
We ask devotees world-wide to pray to the Lord for the protection of the those who were effected by this tragic event. This includes those devotees who are currently hospitalized–especially a woman who is undergoing surgery tomorrow morning in Delhi.
We also ask the devotees to offer special prayers for the one male devotee who was swept away by the river current and still missing. And, we let us offer our most heartfelt prayers for the two devotees who were killed at the time of the accident, and for their families.
Details that we understand at this point are as follows:
As reported earlier, four buses were driving pilgrims to Gangotri, when one of the buses drove off the road on Tuesday and plunged into the Bhagirathi river next to the road.
About two hours ago, Yudhistira das, ISKCON North India Communications Director, visited the AIIMS hospital in Delhi where the devotees who were injured are being treated. He provided much of this information.
AIIMS is a well reputed, quality hospital about 20 minutes from the main ISKCON temple.
Two devotees–one man and one woman–died at the time of the accident. An additional man was swept away by the current, and is presumed dead, although we pray that he somehow survived.
Survivors of the accident were airlifted to Delhi for treatment. Six women devotees were seriously injured. Five are out of immediate danger, although still in the hospital and, according a doctor, will require up to ten days before they can be discharged.
Another woman was sent to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, outside of Delhi, where she is in critical condition. Unspecified surgery is planned for hertomorrow morning, Delhi time.
We have not have confirmed any names of those involved in the accident.
Yudhistira told me that: “The survivors I met with are visibly in shock. They are grateful to hear that devotees worldwide are praying for them. They specifically asked that prayers be offered for the Vaishnavi who is undergoing surgery on Friday morning.”
The travelers were part of a group of 60 pilgrims on a tour of spiritual India. Groups of ISKCON friends and devotees regularly travel to India to tour holy sites. According to one of the passengers who survived the accident, the rest of the group will likely continue its tour to Vrindavan, Puri and Mayapura.
When the survivors were met at the hospital by ISKCON devotees from Delhi many of them asked for japa beads to pray upon, having lost their beads in the submerged bus.
Gopal Krishna Maharaja, GBC for the region, has sent one of his senior disciples, a doctor, to visit the hospital and speak with the survivors and doctors on duty to ensure the treatments are going well.
Some of those who survived the accident are now staying at the Russian embassy which is aiding them in retrieving new personal documents and other items, as all their belongings were lost to the river.
Local Delhi ISKCON devotees are also caring for the survivors in the hospital sending them prasada and other needs. In addition, three Delhi based Russian devotees are offering ongoing assistance.”
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At 3.30 EST ISKCON News got the following information about the accident victims from Bhaktin Olessia, ISKCON Communications representative in Russia:
“We have just confirmed the names of the victims of the bus accident in the Himalayas: They are Alexander Klushkin from Moscow (born in 1977) and Rimma Mischuk from Perm (born in 1958).
A young man from Moscow is missing still.
The empty bus was found today.
Two devotees who are in the hospital are from Ufa, three are from Moscow.
A devotee called Alice is in serious condition and she will go into surgery Friday morning Indian time.
One devotee called Dmitry came out of the accident without a scratch.”
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies