Manali/Srinagar: At least 15 people, including eight women, were killed when a mini-bus skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh, police said Sunday.
The accident, which also left five people injured, happened in Gamur near Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district late Saturday night.
"Rescue workers used ropes to go down into the 150-metre deep gorge to recover the bodies. The mini-bus was carrying members of a cultural group," Superintendent of Police Vimal Gupta said.
Police said the mini-bus was carrying 23 people when it rolled down into the gorge after it went out the driver`s control.
The members of the cultural group belonged to Leh in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and were on their way to Keylong to participate in a festival.
Gupta said that the bodies of the victims would be handed over to their families Monday at Sarchu village, some 250 km from Keylong.
The victims were coming to Keylong, the district headquarters located on the Leh-Manali highway, to participate in a three-day cultural festival that was to start Sunday. Both Keylong and Leh are dominated by the Buddhists.