36 killed, 19 injured as bus falls into gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir

A passenger bus skidded off a mountainous road in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday, resulting in 36 fatalities and 19 injuries, some critical.

Thirty-six people were killed and 19 others injured, some of them critically, on Wednesday after a passenger bus skidded off a mountainous road and fell into a deep gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.

The accident took place in Assar area of Doda district, about 149 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. The ill-fated bus was on its way from Kishtwar to Jammu city.

"Today a bus with 55 people on board skidded off the road and rolled down into a 300-feet deep gorge. So far we have information that 36 people have lost their lives in the tragic accident and 19 others are injured," a police official told Xinhua over the phone.

According to the officials, the locals were the first to reach the spot and helped the injured.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the deaths in the accident and offered their condolences to the bereaved families.

Deadly road accidents are common in India due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.

Around 150,000 people are killed every year in about half a million road accidents across India, officials said.

The Indian government has set a target to reduce road accident deaths by 50 percent by 2024.

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