15 killed in Kashmir bus crash
July 16, 2012 -- Updated 0047 GMT (0847 HKT)
Indian police stand pictured at the scene of a bus accident near Digdole, about 165 kms from Jammu.
- A bus with 33 people onboard skids off a highway and rolls down a steep gorge
- 15 passengers are killed and 18 others are injured, a police official says
- They were returning from a pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath
Srinagar, India (CNN) -- Fifteen passengers were killed and 18 others injured when a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims crashed on a hilly highway in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said Sunday.
The bus was heading to the city of Jammu when it skidded off the road and rolled down a steep gorge, said Anil Magotra, the district police chief.
"The bus hurtled 35 to 40 meters, killing 15 passengers on the spot," Magotra said. "All the 18 injured passengers have been evacuated to Jammu for specialized treatment."
The 33 Hindu people onboard were returning from a pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath.
The cave, situated in the Himalayas at a height of 3,880 meters (12,729 feet), is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in India.
Vehicle accidents are common on the winding 300-kilometer (185-mile) Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which connects landlocked Kashmir to rest of India.
State officials have expressed condolences at the death of pilgrims and announced cash relief to families of the dead and injured.
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