Deaths in northern India bus crash

  • 02/09/2015

A speeding bus has swerved off a mountain road into a deep gorge in the Himalayan region of northern India, killing at least 18 people.

Another 15 people were injured, three of them seriously, in Tuesday's (local time) accident which occurred near Nathpa, some 175km from Shimla, the state capital of Himachal Pradesh.

"15 people died on the spot and three on their way to the hospital," police superintendent Rahul Nath told AFP over phone.

"The bodies have been pulled out of the gorge and have been identified. The autopsy is being carried out on the spot and bodies are being handed over to their families," he said.

Witnesses said the driver was speeding and appeared to have lost balance as he tried to overtake another vehicle on the narrow winding road.

India has the highest number of road accidents globally, with 137,000 recorded in 2013, the latest year for which official government figures are available.

Transport analysts attribute the huge number of accidents to poor roads, ill-trained drivers and reckless driving.

The national government has recently put forward proposals for new legislation to make India's roads safer by stiffening lax traffic regulations.