Officials on Sunday said at least 48 people were killed when an overloaded bus plunged off a mountain road into a narrow valley in northern India. Authorities said the 28-seat bus was carrying about 60 people.
Trivendra Rawat, the chief Minister of Uttarakhand, said the bus fell into a 700-foot-deep gorge in the Himalayan foothills. He added that about a dozen other people were injured and hospitalized, while at least seven of the injured were in critical condition. “People were packed like sardines” said another police officer Jagat Ram Joshi.
Police official Manoj Kumar said rescuers recovered 48 bodies from the accident site.
Senior police official Sanjay Gunjiyal said, earlier, rescue and retrieval work was hampered by bad weather.
It was not clear what caused the crash, however Gunjiyal said bad weather could have caused the bus to skid off the road.
Mr. Gunjiyal added ‘’ it is raining (in the area) since morning. Two days back there was a landslide in that area ‘’, he said, adding that resident were the first to reach the site and help the victims.
Gunjiya said the terrain was inhospitable and communications were poor.
India has the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed annually. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.