Over 17 children killed in Indian school bus crash

Police warn the death toll is likely to rise.
Police warn the death toll is likely to rise. Photo credit: Reuters

At least 17 children were killed when a school bus plunged off a mountain road in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, police officers have said.

Santosh Patial, a senior officer in Himachal Pradesh, said they had recovered 17 bodies and the death toll is likely to rise.

The private school bus skidded off a mountain road and fell into a 30-metre gorge in the district of Kangra, state education minister Suresh Bhardwaj told the dpa press agency.

The victims were between six and 11 years of age. Several children were also reported to be injured.

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

India has the world's deadliest roads, with almost 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2015, the latest government data shows.