27 killed as bus falls off mountain road in northern India

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The Independent Online

Amritsa, India (AP) - A bus swerved to avoid hitting a cow and skidded off a mountain road and into a deep gorge today, killing 27 pilgrims and injuring 47 on the way back from a temple town in northern India.

Amritsa, India (AP) - A bus swerved to avoid hitting a cow and skidded off a mountain road and into a deep gorge today, killing 27 pilgrims and injuring 47 on the way back from a temple town in northern India.

The accident took place in Chahal village in Punjab state's Hoshiarpur district.

Police in Hoshiarpur said the driver lost control of the bus when he tried to avoid hitting a cow which was crossing the road. The bus hurtled down the mountainside careered into trees about 80ft (24m) below. The victims crashed through the broken windscreen and fell 600ft (181m) into the gorge.

The bus was carrying pilgrims returning from the Hindu shrines of Chintpurni and Dera Varbagh Singh in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh state. Most of the victims were from Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Ludhiana and Sangrur towns of Punjab.

The death toll could increase as some of the injured are reported to be in serious condition.

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