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44 Killed in Northern India Bus Crash | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Indian rescue personnel and volunteers stand amidst wreckage and victims after a bus accident, at the bottom of a ravine near the River Tons at Chopal, some 115kms north of Shimla on April 19, 2017. AFP PHOTO / STR

At least 44 people were killed on Wednesday when a bus swerved off a mountain road and plunged into a deep gorge in a Himalayan region of northern India, an official said Wednesday.

The bus plunged into a 200-meter deep gorge on the Tons river in northern Himachal Pradesh state around 115 kilometers from the capital Shimla.

“A preliminary report shows that a private bus fell into a gorge and has killed more than 40 people. The latest report given to me shows 44 people have been killed,” Rohan Chand Thakur, district commissioner of Shimla, told Agence France Presse.

Only two people, including the ticket checker, survived the crash, according to Thakur.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, or whether any of the survivors were injured.

Police rushed to the scene where rescue efforts were underway to recover the wreckage from the gorge, the official added.

In February, 16 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a truck carrying churchgoers overturned in a hilly region of northeast India.

Survivors said the driver was maneuvering recklessly and lost control of the vehicle in the rugged terrain.

A month earlier 13 people — mostly children aged between seven and 14 — were killed when a school bus collided with a truck in northern India.

India has some of the world’s deadliest roads with more than 150,000 people dying each year due to driver fatigue, poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.