India bus crashes in Himachal Pradesh killing 39

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At least 39 people have died after a bus crashed into a gorge in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, say police.

Local officials said the privately owned and crowded bus had been travelling from Chamba to Bharmaur.

It reportedly skidded off the road and fell more than 100m (300 ft) into the Chamba Valley.

Police officer Raj Kumar said the driver lost control of the vehicle at a sharp bend on a mountain road.

Mr Kumar said a rescue operation was under way and that the death toll was expected to rise, the Associated Press news agency reports.

India has the world's highest number of road deaths, with more than 110,000 people killed every year in accidents.

Most are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles.

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