At least eight people were killed and 10 others injured Wednesday after a bus carrying them skidded off a mountainous road and fell into a gorge in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, police said.
The accident took place at Teesa in Chamba district, about 388 km north of Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh.
"Today, in a tragic road accident here, a passenger bus skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Teesa sub-division," a senior police official said. "The injured were taken to a nearby hospital, where the condition of some of the injured was stated to be critical."
Immediately following the accident, police and health teams were rushed to the spot to carry out rescue work and retrieve the bodies. "I am saddened to hear that eight people were killed and ten injured in a bus accident in Teesa in Chamba. May the departed souls rest in peace and the bereaved families have the patience to bear this unbearable grief," Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told media. "Ambulances and rescue teams are at the spot, and I hope the death toll will not increase. I have directed the district administration to ensure the injured are properly treated."
Thakur said the bus has got badly mangled after falling into the gorge. The cause of the accident was not immediately known. Police have registered a case and ordered an investigation into the accident. Meanwhile, Thakur told the media that his government would provide 5,480 US dollars as compensation to each family that has lost a member in the accident. Deadly road accidents are common in India often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.
According to the Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, every day 415 people die in the country due to road accidents.