At Least 40 Dead in Bus Crash in Himalayas

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At Least 40 Dead in Bus Crash in Himalayas

At least 40 people have died after a bus crashed into a gorge in northern India.

Police say a rescue operation is ongoing to reach other casualties and at least three other people are injured after the accident in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

Reports say about 45 passengers were on the 28-seater bus which was travelling from Bhoan to Ramnagar.

Deepesh Chandra Kala, a disaster management officer from Pauri Garhwal, said: ""Forty-four people have died in the accident. At least three others are injured. The rescue work is still ongoing."

Chief Minister of Uttarakhand state Trivendra Rawat said the bus skidded and fell into a 700-foot (213-metre) deep gorge.

Mr Rawat said about 12 other people have been injured.

Senior police official Sanjay Gunjiyal said rescue work is being hampered by bad weather, although 20 people had so far been pulled out of the wreckage.

The cause of the crash is not known but Mr Gunjiyal said bad weather could have led the bus to skid off the road.

He said: "It is raining (in the area) since morning. Two days back there was a landslide in that area."

He added that residents were the first on the scene to help the victims.

More than 110,000 people are killed every year on India's deadly roads.

Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.

Source: Sky News