At least 44 people were killed and 34 others severely injured when an overloaded bus fell into a deep gorge in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.
The private bus, bearing registration number HP 66-7065, fell into the over 300-metre-deep gorge near the Dhoth Morh in Banjar tehsil of the district, Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said.
According to reports, the bus - carrying over 50 passengers - was on its way from Banjar to Gada Gushaini area. Rescue operations are still underway
The bus was on its way to Gada Gushaini, she said, adding that a rescue operation is on.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the tragic accident. In their condolence messages, they prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved family members, an official spokesperson said.
The chief minister has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, the official said, adding that Thakur also asked the administration to provide best possible medicare to the injured passengers.
Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur left for Kullu from Shimla after learning about the accident.