(NationRise.com) – At least 37 people are dead, and over a dozen others are severely injured after a bus fell into a ravine after sliding off a highway in northern India. Local reports showed that the vehicle was traveling in Jammu’s division Dodo district when it veered off the road and fell 300 feet into the gorge. The bus was in the mountainous region of the Dodo district when it had the accident.
Different videos of the tragic scene show the bus lying near a hill as people come out of their houses to help the survivors. While many drivers on the roadway stopped their vehicles to look at the scene, some others also came down to help the survivors.
During a press conference, India’s Federal Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters that most of the people who survived were in critical condition. She pointed out every survivor was immediately transported to hospitals and clinics in Dodo and Jammu, with helicopters providing the rescue services. When asked if the people injured were going to survive, Singh told reporters it was still “too soon to tell.”
While the cause of the accident remains unclear, a police officer named Sunil Gupta explained that investigators determined that the bus driver was driving at a high speed on a mountain with “dangerous curves.” He also pointed out that the bus was overcrowded — carrying 58 passengers when it had a capacity of 42.
On his Twitter account, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief and “pain” for the tragedy. He also announced financial compensation for the families of the victims and said that the accident had distressed the whole country. He asked that every Indian pray for the injured to survive and recover as soon as possible.
According to different reports, over 100,000 people die in crashes in the country every year. While buses are one of the most popular modes of transport, drivers sometimes fail to follow safety rules and pack more passengers than what is legally permitted.
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