NEWS
04/10/2018 06:19 EDT | Updated 04/10/2018 06:19 EDT

India School Bus Crash Leaves More Than 2 Dozen Dead

The bus driver crashed some 60 metres below the road into a gorge, police said.

AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia
A father grieves the death of his son outside a government hospital in Nurpur, about 60km (37 miles) south of Dharmsala, India, April 9, 2018.

NURPUR, India — At least 27 children were killed Monday when their school bus skidded off a mountain road into a gorge in the foothills of the Himalayas, officials said.

Three adults were also killed in the crash, Himachal Pradesh state transport minister Govind Singh Takur told the Press Trust of India news agency. At least a dozen people were taken to area hospitals.

Initial reports indicated that the bus driver was speeding and lost control at the edge of the gorge, with the bus crashing some 200 feet (60 metres) to the ground below, said police officer Sunil Kumar.

The accident occurred in the Kangra Valley, about 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of New Delhi.

India's roads, particularly in the hills, have long been feared for their deep potholes, reckless drivers and, very often, a lack of guardrails. Fatal accidents are common.

"I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives,'' Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet. "My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones.''

Rescuers were still digging through the wreckage after nightfall looking for more survivors, Kumar said.