A youth died from a bullet injury while three others died by suicide while on a hunting expedition at a forest near Kundi village in Uttarakhand's Tehri district, an official said on Sunday.
While one of them died due to accidental fire from a gun, the three other died by suicide, apparently due to a sense of guilt over the incident, SDM PR Chauhan said.
Their three friends, who had gone to the forest along with them, informed villagers about it, he said.
Mr Chauhan said seven friends had left for hunting on Saturday night from a village in Bhilangana block.
Rajiv (22) with a loaded gun was leading the group when he slipped and fell. As he fell, the trigger of the gun on his shoulder went off with a bullet hitting Santosh.
As Santosh bled to death, their friends got scared.
While Rajiv fled with the gun, three others--Soban, Pankaj and Arjun--consumed pesticide, saying they were very ashamed of the incident.
Rahul and Sumit returned to the village to inform residents about the incident.
Villagers took the three friends to the Beleshwar Community Health Centre where Pankaj and Arjun were declared dead while Soban died during treatment.
All victims were aged 18 to 22.
Tehri District Magistrate Iva Ashish Shrivastava said a post-mortem is being conducted and the incident is being probed from all angles.