35 dead as bus plunges into gorge in Indian Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) – At least 35 people were killed yesterday when an overcrowded bus plunged into a gorge in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said.

It was the second deadly crash in less than a week in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, renowned for its mountainous terrain and abysmal road safety record.

The bus skidded off a road in the remote Kishtwar region and fell into a deep, narrow valley, senior police official MK Sinha said.

Thirty-five people died in the accident and 17 were injured, local official Angrez Singh Rana said. Seven of the injured were in critical condition and were evacuated to a nearby hospital, he said.

A separate crash yesterday in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh state killed three school students and their driver, the Press Trust of India reported.

Last week, 11 students on their way to a picnic were killed when their bus fell into a gorge in Shopian district of Kashmir, officials said.

Some 150,000 people die in road accidents on average each year in India, according to official figures.

Indian residents and rescue workers gather at the site of a bus accident in the Kishtwar region in Jammu and Kashmir state. – AFP