At least 36 die after bus falls into India gorge

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At least 36 die after bus falls into India gorge

At least 36 people have died and 19 others have been injured after a bus plunged into a gorge in northern India’s Jammu district.

Officials said more than 50 passengers were on board when the bus veered off the road and fell into the 300ft gorge in Doda district.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and announced financial compensation for the victims’ families.

Pictures and videos from the site of the accident showed the mangled remains of the bus lying near a hill as rescue personnel looked for survivors.

Federal minister Jitendra Singh wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that authorities were providing “all possible help” to the injured, who have been moved to nearby hospitals.

Six of them are in critical care, he said, adding that a helicopter service was being arranged to airlift others.

Road safety is notoriously bad in India, with more than 100,000 dying each year in crashes due to poor driving and dilapidated roads.

Buses are a popular mode of transport, especially in smaller towns. But operators often flout safety rules and pack them beyond their capacity.

Last year, 25 people died in a similar accident in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand after a bus carrying a wedding procession skidded off the road and fell into a gorge.