43 dead, 35 injured as bus falls in a 500-feet deep gorge in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

25 dead as bus falls in a 500-feet deep gorge in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
(File Photo: During the rescue operation)

At least 43 people were killed and 35 others severely injured when an overloaded bus fell into a deep drain in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.

The private bus (bearing registration number HP 66-7065) fell into the over 300-metre-deep nullah near the Dhoth Morh in Banjar tehsil of the district, Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said, adding that the vehicle was en route to Gada Gushaini.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled the death of people, with the former saying the state government is extending all possible help to the injured.

Most of the victims were residents of various areas in Kullu district.

Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Devvrat and chief minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the tragic accident. In their condolence messages, they prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved family members, an official spokesperson said.

The chief minister has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, the official said, adding that Thakur also asked the administration to provide best possible medicare to the injured passengers.