Himachal Pradesh got its second major shock in a month when eighteen people were killed and 14 others injured as a bus carrying them fell into a 500 deep feet gorge in Sirmaur district of the state.

The accident took place at Sangrah Tehsil of Sirmaur district on the bus ferrying from Punradhar to Solan. The bus was reportedly carrying around 35 persons when the mishap took place. The exact time of the accident is not known, but is believed to have taken place sometime around 7:00 to 7:15 am, shortly after the bus left from Punradhar.

According to authorities, all the bodies have been recovered. A number of villagers were said to have rushed to the spot and helped the local administration in rescue efforts. Some of the injured are in critical condition and have been admitted to various hospitals at Solan and Rajgarh. Most of the deceased have not been identified yet, but many are believed to be mainly from Punradhar and nearby villages. Many of the victims of the mishap are said to be students studying in colleges in and around Solan.  Authorities are probing into the cause of the mishap.

The accident is the second to have happened this week in the same area. Earlier this week, four persons were killed when their car rolled into a gorge near Bogdar, a village in Sirmaur district.

As many as 500 black spots (chief accident prone areas) have been identified by Himachal Pradesh authorities after fatal road mishaps were identified as one  of the major reasons of deaths in the state. Sirmaur is one of the remotest areas in the state and overcrowding of existing vehicles account to more number of casualities.

Earlier this month on 8 May, 40 people were killed when a private bus fell into River Beas in Jhiri Village of Mandi district.