Shimla: At least 14 people, including three women and two children, were killed today and ten others injured when their "overloaded" bus fell into a 700 metre deep gorge in Chamba district, police said.
The death toll could rise as rescue operation was still on and the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals.
The ill-fated private minibus was on its way to Himgiri from Chamba town when it fell into the gorge near Shool nallah in Salooni tehsil, about 70 km from Chamba town, Additional Superintendent of Police, Chamba, Kulwant Thakur said.
Eyewitnesses said the bus was overcrowded and the driver probably lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a sharp curve.
Locals started rescue operations before the authorities could reach the spot.
Most of the deceased were from Chamba district, one of the remotest places in the state.
Lack of proper public transport and poor frequency of government-run buses in this far-flung district are blamed for overloading of the vehicles.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Governor Urmila Singh have condoled the loss of lives in the accident.