Fifty-one killed in India as bus drops into gorge
An overcrowded bus fell into a steep mountain gorge in northern India Saturday, killing 51 people, police said, reported dpa.
The bus was en route to Chamba, about 380 kilometres north of the capital of Himachal Pradesh state, when it crashed into the 100-metre-deep ravine about 10 kilometres from the town.
"Thirty-nine people died on the spot," Himachal Pradesh police chief RM Sharma said.
The other passengers either died on the way to or in the local hospital.
Sharma said the cause of the accident was not yet clear. The bus had a capacity of 44 people, but was carrying more than 75, he said.
Himachal Pradesh recorded 3,500 deaths in road accidents between 2009-11, according to government records.
"In 97 per cent of cases, human error and drunken driving are responsible for the accidents, while 3 per cent are due to mechanical failure and bad roads," the state's transport minister told the state legislature in December.
India has one of the worst road accident rates in the world with at least 100,000 people killed each year since 2006.