SHIMLA, India: At least 28 people were killed when a heavily overloaded bus plunged into a gorge in northern India, police said Tuesday.
The bus, which was carrying more than 45 passengers – many of them on the roof – veered off the road in a sparsely populated and hilly area of the state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday night.
“Twenty-eight bodies have been found and five people have been injured in the accident,” Diljeet Thakur, district superintendent of police, told AFP, adding the death toll could rise because many people were still missing.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known but one woman who survived said that the driver had lost control of the vehicle on a sharp bend.
The accident occurred near the scenic Kangra valley, about 250 kilometres from state capital Shimla. The area is treacherous and known for zig-zag turns.
Villagers were the first to reach the scene of the accident and frantically struggled to pull the dead and injured from the twisted wreckage.
Last month, 52 people were killed and 45 were injured in Himachal Pradesh, in one of the worst road accidents in India in recent years.
India has the one of the highest annual road death tolls in the world, with more than 110,000 people killed in accidents last year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.