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23 children die after school bus plunges into gorge in India

Four adults were also killed in the incident in the Kangra Valley.

A total of 23 children have died after a school bus plunged off a mountain road into a deep gorge in the Himalayan foothills, officials in India have said.

Four adults also died, said Sandeep Kumar, a local official. Ten children were hospitalised.

Initial reports indicated the bus driver was speeding as he took the children home and lost control at the edge of the gorge. The bus fell some 200ft to the ground below, according to police officer Sunil Kumar.

The adults killed included the bus driver, two teachers and another woman, officials said. Most of the children riding in the bus were believed to be in primary school.

The crash occurred in the Kangra Valley, about 300 miles north of New Delhi.

The search for survivors ended late on Monday, with the bodies of the dead lying on the concrete floor of the Nurpur mortuary, covered by sheets.

India’s roads, particularly in the hills, have long been feared for their deep potholes, reckless drivers and 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.”

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