Pilgrimage bus plunges into gorge in India’s Uttarakhand state, 26 killed

At least 26 people were killed and four others were injured after a bus in a mountainous region of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand plunged into a gorge, police said.

The bus was carrying 30 people, including the driver, to Yamunotri, the remote Hindu pilgrimage site in the Himalayan state, when it went off the road on Sunday evening.

The accident happened near Damta in Uttarkashi district, about 160km from the state capital Dehradun.

“The injured persons have been rushed to the nearby medical facilities,” district police superintendent Arpan Yaduvanshi said.

Yaduvanshi added that rescue workers were still looking for a missing passenger and the death toll “may increase further”.

The bus was carrying 28 tourists from the Panna district in Madhya Pradesh, local media reports said.

Uttarakhand has some of the holiest Hindu sites and receives millions of pilgrims each year, but has a poorly maintained and notoriously dangerous network of Himalayan roads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a compensation of approximately $2,575 each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the families of those killed in the accident. The injured will receive $644 each.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the state administration and rescue teams are on the scene.

Dhami’s Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan called the incident “unfortunate” and said he is in constant touch with the Uttarakhand government and district administration.