At least 10 pilgrims from Punjab were killed and 55 injured when a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge near Dhaliara (Dehra) in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. Seven of the 55 injured are critical.

The private bus belonging to New Malwa Bus service was on its way to Jawalamukhi, after making a stop at the famous Chintpurni temple in Una district of Himachal Pradesh.

SP of Kangra district, Sanjiv Gandhi said that 32 injured people were referred to Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Tanda while the rest were being treated at Government Hospital in Dehra. Among the 55 injured, eight were children.

He said that the driver of the bus lost control at a steep turn because of the vehicle’s speed. The spot where the incident occurred is located in an accident-prone stretch.

Most of the victims are from different villages in Amritsar district. The bus had started from Amritsar at around 11 pm on Wednesday and had reached Chintpurni temple at 5 am, the SP said. State Chief secretary V C Pharka said rescue teams, along with police and medical staff, had reached the spot immediately.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh directed the district administration to provide all possible assistance to the injured.