Source Pravda.Ru

Bus falls into gorge in India, killing 18

A bus carrying a wedding party plunged into a gorge in mountainous northern India, killing at least 18 people and injuring another 27, a government official said Tuesday.

The bus rolled down a 180 meters (600 feet) deep gorge and fell into the fast flowing Mandakini River late Monday night, said Amit Chandola, a spokesman for the government of Uttarakhand state.

"Initial inquiry suggests that the driver, along with many other members of the marriage party, was in an inebriated state," he added.

The accident occurred in Rudraprayag district, 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Lucknow, the capital of neighboring Uttar Pradesh state.

The bus, which had a seating capacity of 32, was packed with 44 passengers and the state government has ordered a detailed inquiry into the accident, Chandola said.

It was not clear whether the bride and groom were among the dead, reports AP.

Overcrowding, reckless driving and aging vehicles are blamed for many accidents on Indian roads. There are laws in place against drunken driving, but they are rarely enforced.