Friday 16 November 2018

48 die as crowded bus plunges into deep gorge

The wrecked bus and passengers belongings scattered after the bus fell into a gorge in the hilly Pauri Garhwal district in the northen state of Uttarakhand. Photo: Getty Images
The wrecked bus and passengers belongings scattered after the bus fell into a gorge in the hilly Pauri Garhwal district in the northen state of Uttarakhand. Photo: Getty Images

Daniel Armitage

At least 48 people were killed when an overcrowded bus plunged off a mountain road into a gorge in northern India.

Chief Minister of Uttarakhand state Trivendra Rawat said the bus fell into a 200- metre-deep gorge in the Himalayan foothills. He said about a dozen other people were injured and hospitalised.

Police official Manoj Kumar said rescuers recovered 48 bodies from the accident site.

"People were packed like sardines," said another police officer, Jagat Ram Joshi. He said at least seven of the injured were in critical condition.

Earlier, rescue and retrieval work was hampered by inclement weather, said senior police official Sanjay Gunjiyal.

Police said the 28-seat bus was carrying about 60 people.

It wasn't clear what caused the crash, but Mr Gunjiyal said bad weather could have caused the bus to skid off the road.

"It is raining (in the area) since morning. Two days back there was a landslide in that area," he said, adding that residents were the first to reach the site and help the victims.

Mr Gunjiya said the terrain was inhospitable and communications were poor.

India has the deadliest roads in the world, with more than 110,000 people killed every year.

Irish Independent

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