Bus plunges into gorge in India; kills 25 on board

NEW DELHI (AP) — A bus in northern India plunged into a gorge, leaving at least 25 dead and over a dozen others injured, officials said.

Police told the Press Trust of India news agency there were 45 to 50 people on board the bus, all of whom were part of a wedding party, when it fell Tuesday evening into a gorge in Pauri district in Uttarakhand state.

State police and the disaster response force worked alongside locals to rescue 21 people Tuesday night at the site of the crash, police chief Ashok Kumar tweeted.

Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a senior government officer, said they would be carrying out an investigation into the incident and will conduct postmortem examinations after retrieving the bodies from the site.

Officials were seen clearing the area of bushes and trees to help with the rescue operation as they pulled up an injured person. Rescuers also retrieved a dead body using ropes before they were taken away on a stretcher.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said all possible assistance will be given to those affected.

“In this tragic hour my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those who have been injured recover at the earliest,” he tweeted Wednesday.

Deadly road accidents are common in India due to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles. More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.

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