At least 30 people, most of them children, have died after a school bus fell into a gorge in a mountainous region of India in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday evening, in Kangra Valley, about 325km (200 miles) from the state capital.
The 67 old bus driver and two teachers were also killed in the accident. The bus was transporting some 40 students from Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial school in Nurpur in the country's Kangra district. It rolled into a 200ft (61m) deep gorge. Eyewitnesses said the vehicle skidded as it turned a corner and left the mountainous road. India's National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) was called to the crash site and is continuing its efforts to reach any passengers trapped in the wreckage.
At least 13 seriously injured persons were rushed to a hospital in Pathankot where one of them succumbed to injuries, an official said. The condition of other injured persons was also critical, he said. "My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced an immediate relief of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased. Food and Supplies minister Krishan Kapoor was among the senior state functionaries at the accident site to supervise rescue operations.