Ten killed as bus plummets into gorge in India's Jammu

Overloaded vehicle crashes off bridge in region notorious for accidents due to treacherous terrain and narrow roads

Rescuers use a crane to lift the bus that skidded off a bridge into a Himalayan gorge. AP
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At least 10 people were killed and 55 injured after a bus skidded off a motorway into a gorge in India's Himalayan Jammu and Kashmir region on Tuesday.

The overloaded bus was mostly carrying devotees and was travelling from Punjab’s Amritsar city to Katra – the base camp for the famous Hindu cave shrine Vaishno Devi.

It crashed off a bridge in Jhajjar Kotli in the early hours of Tuesday, police said.

“Ten people died and around 55 were injured. All have been evacuated. The bus was carrying more passengers than the prescribed limit,” Jammu senior police officer Chandan Kohli said.

Police said the rescue operation was almost complete and those injured were rushed to government-run hospitals. A disaster response force team was on the scene.

Manoj Sinha, the lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, issued reassurances that the injured would be properly looked after.

The region has been governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government since the state was brought under New Delhi's rule in 2019.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for speedy recovery of the injured,” Mr Sinha’s office tweeted.

The region is notorious for accidents due to its treacherous terrain, narrow roads and overcrowded public buses.

At least 12 passengers were killed and more than two dozen injured after a bus plunged into a deep gorge in Poonch district in the territory in September.

Updated: May 30, 2023, 9:19 AM