At least 25 killed as India bus plunges into gorge

At least 25 people have died after a bus plunged into a gorge in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Officials said at least 40 were on board when the bus veered off the road and fell into a ravine in Pauri Garhwal district on Tuesday night.

So far, 21 passengers have been rescued following an overnight operation led by the state’s disaster response force.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted that his “thoughts are with the bereaved families”.

The bus was carrying a wedding procession from Laldhang to Bironkhal village in Uttarakhand when the accident happened.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but state authorities said they were investigating the incident.

Senior police official, Swatantra Kumar Singh, told ANI news agency that a rescue operation was still underway on Wednesday.

Pictures from the scene showed the mangled remains of the bus lying near a steep hill as rescue personnel helped pull out survivors.

Uttarkhand’s Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, said that all possible help was being provided to the rescue teams to aid their efforts.

Road safety is notoriously bad in India, with more than 100,000 dying each year in crashes due to poor driving and dilapidated roads.

Buses are a popular mode of transport in India, especially in smaller towns. But operators often flout safety rules and pack them beyond their capacity.

At least 18 migrant workers died after a truck crashed into their bus in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Their 1,300km-long (800 miles) journey from Haryana to their home state of Bihar was cut short when the bus broke down in Barabanki district.

Some of the workers were still in the bus while others were sleeping next to it when the accident happened in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police told the BBC that the bus was “overloaded beyond its capacity”.

Yamuna Prasad, superintendent of police in Barabanki, said some of the passengers decided to sleep next to the bus while the driver looked for a mechanic to fix the vehicle. -BBC

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