India

Kashmir crash: Mountain bus plunge 'kills 23'

File photo of India road crash Image copyright AP
Image caption Bus crashes are common in India and tens of thousands die every year in accidents

At least 23 people were killed when a crowded bus veered off a mountain road and plunged down a gorge in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.

The accident happened as the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle while turning a bend, police said.

At least two dozen others were injured in the accident. Police and rescue services are at the scene.

Bus crashes are common in India and are often caused by poorly maintained vehicles, overloading and bad driving.

In a similar accident last May, at least 17 people were killed after their bus plunged off a road in the region.

Monday's accident took place near the village of Marotthi, nearly 250km (155 miles) south of the city of Srinagar.

"We have pulled out 23 bodies so far and evacuated around 30 other injured passengers, some of whom are critically injured," news agency AFP quoted Danish Rana, a senior police official in the area, as saying.

"The bus was apparently overloaded," he added.

More than 200,000 people die in Indian road accidents every year, according to the World Health Organisation.

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