At least nine people were killed and 25 injured when an overspeeding bus they were travelling in fell from a bridge into a river in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district on Sunday, police said.
The accident took place near Khadri village on the Renuka-Dadahu-Nahan road, about 168 km south of Shimla, at around 4.30 pm. The private bus was on its way from Renuka Ji to Nahan when the driver lost control, broke the railing of the Jalal bridge and fell 40-feet down into the Jalal river, said senior police official Virender Singh Thakur.
Four passengers, including three women, died on the spot, while five critically-injured persons succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.
Fifty-one people are injured and have been shifted to the Nahan medical college. Two of the deceased have been identified as Satya Ram (59) and his wife, Bhagwanti Devi (52), residents of Jaitak village in Nahan tehsil, the official said.
Mr Thakur, who reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation, said prima facie the accident happened due to the negligence of the bus driver. According to eyewitnesses, the bus was overspeeding when it was crossing the bridge.
Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Lalit Jain has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the accident and asked the Nahan sub-divisional magistrate to submit a report within 20 days.
The commissioner has announced a compensation of Rs 20,000 to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5,000 to the injured as immediate relief.
Another bus, carrying people from Delhi, fell into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district today, injuring 21.