At least 35 dead as minibus crashes into gorge in Kashmir

Officials investigating whether it was a mechanical failure or driver negligence

An injured girl being taken  for treatment following  major road accident on June 27th. File Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

An injured girl being taken for treatment following major road accident on June 27th. File Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

 

An overcrowded minibus has crashed into a gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing at least 35 people and injuring another 17.

The bus plunged off the Himalayan mountain road as its driver negotiated a bend and rolled down into a 150m (500ft) deep gorge along a rocky stream, said civil administrator Angrez Singh Rana.

He said officials are investigating whether it was a mechanical failure or driver negligence.

Top police officer MK Sinha said the bus hit the rocks and was torn apart in several pieces.

He said the 27-seat bus was overcrowded.

Rescue teams have evacuated all of the injured to hospital, where they are all in a critical condition.

On Thursday, a minibus carrying students to a picnic crashed into a gorge along another Himalayan road in Kashmir, killing at least 11 and injuring seven others.

India has the world’s deadliest roads, with about 150,000 people killed and 470,000 injured annually.

Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles. –AP