At least 12 people were killed and several injured when a private bus on Pathankot-Dalhousie route skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge at Panchpulla bridge in Himachal Pradesh's Chamba district on Saturday (April 27) evening.
Initially, eight people were reported dead but the death toll has now increased to 12. The bus was on its way from Pathankot in Punjab to Dalhousie in the hill state.
A rescue team led by Dalhousie Deputy Superintendent of police had earlier arrived at the accident site, which is near Banikhet in Dalhousie sub-division, according to Chamba Superintendent of Police (SP) Monica Bhutunguru, reported a news agency. The death toll may possibly rise as the rescue operation is underway.
The injured were admitted to Chamba's Regional Hospital. The driver probably lost control over the vehicle at a hairpin bend and fell into the gorge, an eyewitness told the police.
The administration had a tough time in extracting the victims from the bus, though villagers had started the rescue operation before the authorities reached the spot.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the accident. The CM has also directed the district administration to ensure immediate relief operations and provide all possible help to victims of the accident.
(Inputs from agencies)