42 killed in two road crashes in northern India
At least 42 people, including 33 members of a wedding party, were killed in two road accidents in India's northern state of Himachal Pradesh, police said Thursday.
A truck carrying 45 people fell into a 90-metre gorge early Thursday in the Chamba district, 450 kilometres north-west of the state capital, Shimla, DPA reported.
"Thirty-three people are confirmed to have died in the accident," Devinder Singh, an official at the district police control room, said by telephone.
"The victims, mostly men, belonged to families of a nearby village and were returning after attending a marriage," he said.
Seven wounded passengers were rushed to a state-run hospital while police carried out rescue operations.
In the same district late Wednesday, nine people were killed when their vehicle rolled into a mountain gorge, the Aaj Tak news channel reported.
Officials said preliminary investigations showed that the vehicles might have skidded off the mountain road, wet from several days of rain.
Government data showed about 120,000 people are killed in road crashes in India each year. Many of the accidents are in mountainous states, such as Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand.