At least 44 feared dead in road accident in India

Rescue work ongoing in Himachal Pradesh after accident in country where more than 110,000 die each year in crashes.

    At least 44 people are feared dead after a private bus swerved off a mountain road and plunged into a deep gorge in northern India's Himachal Pradesh state, according to a government official.

    The rescue operation is ongoing and casualties could increase, according to Rohan Chand Thakur, deputy commissioner of Shimla district, where the accident occurred on Wednesday.

    "Our officials, workers and medical teams have rushed to the spot for the rescue work. It’s not possible now to say the details," Thakur said.

    The cause of the accident is not yet known.

    The Indian Express daily reported that the bus skidded off the road and fell nearly 250 metres downhill.

    Among the casualties are 10 women and three children.

    OPINION: Why Indian cars are not driven by safety concerns

    Only two people, including the ticket checker, survived the crash, according to Thakur.

    He said that rescue teams were working to recover the wreckage from the gorge.

    Driver fatigue, negligence, poor-quality roads and vehicle maintenance are the usual causes of such accidents in India.

    Police figures show India has the world's highest road accident death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in crashes.

    Police figures show India has the world's highest road accident death toll [EPA]

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.