26 pilgrims killed in bus accident | india | Hindustan Times
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26 pilgrims killed in bus accident

An overcrowded minibus plunged into a gorge in Uttaranchal today, killing 26 people and wounding eight.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2006 18:33 IST

An overcrowded minibus packed with Hindu pilgrims plunged into a gorge in northern India on Saturday, killing 26 people and wounding eight, police said.

The bus was traveling in the mountainous northern state of Uttaranchal when it went off the road, falling some 100 meters (330 feet) into the Bhagirathi River below, said local police chief RS Meena.

The bus was carrying pilgrims to the Hindu shrine of Gangotri when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp turn and the vehicle fell in the gorge, senior police official Pramod Tamta told the Associated Press by telephone from the scene.

"The survivors say there was a loud sound before the driver lost control of the vehicle and it fell into the river," he said. The accident took place near the town of Uttarkashi, 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Lucknow, the capital of the neighboring Uttar Pradesh state.

Deadly road accidents are common in India, many of them blamed on overcrowding, reckless driving, aging vehicles and poor roads.