Bus Accident Himachal Pradesh
[Representational Image]Reuters File

At least 18 people were killed and 17 sustained injuries when a private bus tumbled down into a rocky valley 400 feet down the road in a village in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.

Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner DD Sharma said 15 passengers died on the spot while three others succumbed to injuries on their way to the hospital. The deceased included the bus driver and the conductor, according to PTI.

The rest who survived the accident were rescued by police and a state helicopter and were rushed to Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla.

The bus, which was on its way to Kalpa from Sangla valley fell into the gorge in Kinnaur district's Rohtrung village near Jaypee dam. Though the cause of the accident is unclear, it is said to have lost control after the brakes failed, according to Indian Express report.

The dead bodies have been sent to the nearby hospital for "on the spot post mortem" after which it would be handed over to their family, Sharma said.