27 school children killed as bus fall into gorge in Himachal Pradesh

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The bus plunged into a deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh, India.

"The private bus coming from neighboring state of Gujarat was parked on the roadside on the highway after it suffered a sudden tyre puncture".

Villagers acted as first responders, rushing to the scene the moment they heard the bus smashed into the rocky gorge, local officials told the Times. At least 10 children were hospitalized.

The injured have been admitted to the Dr RPGMC Tanda hospital for medical treatment.

A probe has been ordered into the incident, the official added.

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India has the highest number of road fatalities in the world. Reckless driving, such as speeding, is blamed in many cases. Unfortunately, the bus driver also perished in the Himachal bus crash, so there is no way to be sure of the cause. Police said he was struck by the bus as soon as he stepped into the street. The girl he was sitting besides survived the Himachal bus crash as well.

Police said a Student Transportation of America School driver had just dropped the boy off at a designated student drop off location. At least 17 people were killed including children.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office tweeted that Mr Modi was "anguished" over the news of the deaths. "My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones". "Administrators are also supporting and working with the family of the student".

The state government has announced $7,700 (500,000 Indian rupees) in compensation for each victim's family. The cremations are expected to take place Tuesday.

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