Indian school bus plunges into gorge, 'killing 27 children'

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Thirty people people, including 27 children, have lost their life, Himachal Pradesh transport minister Govind Singh Thakur said.

"We have identified all the children and parents have been informed about the disaster", said Ram Nath Singh, a police officer at the accident site.

News reports said most of the children riding in the bus were in elementary school.

"The bus rolled into 200 feet (60 meters) deep gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers, and the driver", a senior local police official, Santosh Patial, told AFP from the scene.

At least 13 seriously injured persons were rushed to a hospital in Pathankot where one of them succumbed to injuries, an official said.

M - At least 30 people, majority children, have died after a school bus fell into a gorge in a mountainous region of India, BBCreported citing officials.

The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, expressed his condolences to the families of the students and assured them of a thorough investigation into the incident.

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The ill-fated school bus was carrying about 40 students and staff members the school 1530 hrs and met with accident after one hours on the Nurpur-Chamba border at Mulkval.

Twelve injured passengers were rushed to hospital, most in critical condition.

Two teachers and the bus driver were also believed to have died.

The state government has announced 500,000 rupees ($7,700) in compensation for each victim's family.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office tweeted that Mr Modi was "anguished" over the news of the deaths.

India has the world's deadliest roads, with nearly 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2015, the latest government data shows. "My prayers and solidarity are with those who lost their near and dear ones".