Indian school bus plunges into gorge, 'killing 27 children'

Himachal school bus accident: 27 kids, 3 others killed in Nurpur; updates

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has announced Rs 5 lakh for each of the families of the deceased and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

Monday's accident, which occurred about 325km (200 miles) from the state capital, Shimla, involved a bus transporting some 40 students from Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial school in Nurpur in the country's Kangra district.

"The bus rolled into a 61m deep gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver", local police official Santosh Patyal told AFP news agency.

"My first priority was to save lives".

At least 27 children and three adults were killed when a school bus plunged off a mountain road in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday, officials say.

According to her, all the dead children were aged under 10 years.

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Some of the seriously injured have been taken to hospital in Pathankot.

The accident happened near the intersection of Northside Drive and Jett Street on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Officials say a vehicle was attempting to change lanes when it hit the rear of another auto, sending it spinning and crashing into the school bus.

Onlookers rushed to search the mangled, upturned yellow bus for survivors.

That vehicle then went into a spin, crossed the roadway and struck a school bus, head on, that was traveling in the opposite direction. Eleven others have reportedly been injured. "My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident".

More than 150,000 people are killed each year with most accidents blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the loss of lives in the latest incident.

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