Dozens Of Children Killed As India School Bus Plunges Off Cliff

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has announced Rs 5 lakh for each of the families of the deceased and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

Up to 30 people were killed, including 24 children, in a school bus accident in the mountainous region of India on Monday afternoon. Twelve injured passengers were rushed to the hospital and are in critical condition.

A private bus carrying students of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School on Pathankot-Nurpur road lost control and skidded of the road and fell in the gorge at 1630 hrs when it carrying 40 student and staff members to drop at their home.

"My first priority was to save lives". The bus driver and two teachers were also killed in the accident on Monday evening.

Investigators say tire marks at the accident site suggest that the bus was traveling too fast and the driver may have made a mistake in steering the wheel.

Most of the students were aged between 10 and 12 years and hailed from a local school, he added.

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The bus had barely crossed 6 km when the bus plunged into a gorge on the side of the road with such a great impact that much of the vehicle was crushed.

Images from the scene showed injured children being carried away, bloodied and bruised, some on stretchers and others in the arms of bystanders.

Road accidents are common in India, often due to poor driving or badly maintained roads and vehicles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the loss of lives in the latest incident.

"My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident", he is quoted as saying in the tweet.

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