Dozens Of Children Killed As India School Bus Plunges Off Cliff

Loud Bang Then Bus Rolled Off Hill: Student Recounts Himachal Horror

The bus went off the roadway after the driver lost control on a curve near the town of Nurpur in Himachal Pradesh.

The 42-seater bus was on its way to drop students to their homes when it plunged off the mountain road and into the gorge. The bus belonged to Vazir Ram Singh Memorial Public School.

Police said Haji Mohamed, 8, was struck by the school bus when he attempted to run across Sprague Street.

"The number of dead is 20 and the rescue operation is still going on", said Nurpur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Aabid Hussain.

The adults killed included the bus driver, two teachers and another woman, officials said.

Kangra officials described a horrific scene in the moments after the crash
Kangra officials described a horrific scene in the moments after the crash

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur announced Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased, ANI reported. All the deceased students were under 10 years of age and majority belonged to Khawada village of Nurpur.

Food, Consumer affairs and Civil Supply Kishan Kapoor and Urban Development Minister Sarveen Chudhary visited the spot. Some of the injured were referred to hospitals in Pathankot in Punjab.

It is not clear what caused the accident to take place and local authorities have ordered an investigation into the crash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths in the accident.

Gandhi, for his part tweeted, "I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the bus accident in Himachal, that has claimed many lives, including those of 26 children". Police, local volunteers, team of doctors and other emergency services have been mobilized, he added.

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