At least 20 dead after bus falls into gorge in Northern India

At least 20 dead after bus falls into gorge in Northern India
Beas River, Kullu Valley. Picture: Wiki.

At least 20 people have been killed after a bus fell into a deep gorge on a mountainous road in northern India, police have said.

The incident occurred on Thursday near Kullu, a town in Himachal Pradesh state, according to police officer Shalini Agnihotri.

She said the rescue operation was continuing. The cause of the incident was not known.

Around 150,000 people die every year on India's roads, often because of reckless driving, badly maintained roads and overcrowded vehicles.

In September last year, 55 people were killed when a bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India plunged off a road.

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi expressed his sympathy to the victims: "Deeply saddened by the bus accident in Kullu. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I hope the injured recover soon. The Himachal Pradesh Government is providing all possible assistance that is required."

The Indian president said: "Extremely saddened to learn about the tragic bus accident in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families and with those injured."

PA with additional reporting by Digital Desk Staff

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