'Dozens dead' in Kashmir bus plunge

A Kashmiri man wades through flood water in the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir on 04 September 2014. Kashmir is suffering from its worst flooding in 22 years

Dozens of people are feared dead after floods swept a passenger bus into a gorge in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The bus was carrying about 50 members of a wedding party, including the bride and the groom, officials said.

The accident happened in Rajouri district in Jammu region. Rescue efforts were under way, the army said, adding four people had been saved.

The region is suffering from its worst flooding in 22 years, which has claimed at least 20 lives in the past few days.

Road accidents are common in India and last year more than 138,000 people died in them, according to government figures.

Officials said rescuers were searching for the bus, but they had not been able to locate it in the flood waters.

"Rescue teams are there, including a column of the army," news agency AFP quoted inspector general of police Rajesh Kumar as saying.

"Air force helicopters are also ready, but heavy rains and a strong current in the stream make it difficult," he said, adding that some of the passengers on board might have escaped to safety.

Incessant rains have triggered landslides and flooded many parts of Indian-administered Kashmir, the BBC's Riyaz Masroor reports from Srinagar.

Authorities have declared a "disaster alert" in the region, with all schools and colleges closed and exams postponed, our correspondent adds.

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