As many as 24 people were killed and 20 injured when a private bus they were travelling in rolled down a 300-ft deep gorge at Ruturang near Sangla in Kinnaur district, 193 km from Shimla, on Thursday.
The accident occurred at around 10.30 am when the ill-fated private bus (HP 25 A-1734) coming from Sangla, carrying 44 passengers, was on its way to Reckong Peo in Kalpa sub-division.
While 16 people died on the spot, eight others succumbed to their injuries at the community health centre, Sangla.
The state chopper service was pressed into service to evacuate the seriously injured persons who were brought to the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) and Hospital at Shimla.
Both the driver and the conductor of the bus were among those killed in the accident.
As the Hindustan-Tibet road is blocked at Urni Dhank, owing to continuous landslides for the past three months, Kinnaur deputy commissioner DD Sharma sent a requisition for a chopper to airlift the injured to the IGMC.
"I have ordered a magisterial inquiry that would be conducted by Kalpa sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to establish the exact cause of the accident," said Sharma.