35 dead as bus plunges into gorge in Indian Kashmir

SRINAGAR, INDIA (AFP) - At least 35 people were killed on Monday (July 1) when an overcrowded bus plunged into a gorge in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said.

It was the second deadly crash in less than a week in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, renowned for its mountainous terrain and abysmal road safety record.

The bus skidded off a road in the remote Kishtwar region and fell into a deep, narrow valley, senior police official M. K. Sinha said.

Thirty-five people died in the accident and 17 were injured, local official Angrez Singh Rana said.

Seven of the injured were in critical condition and were evacuated to a nearby hospital, he said.

A separate crash on Monday in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh state killed three students and their driver, the Press Trust of India reported.

Last week, 11 students on their way to a picnic were killed when their bus fell into a gorge in Shopian district of Kashmir, officials said.

Some 150,000 people die in road accidents on average each year in India, according to official figures.