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Bus in India plunges into gorge, killing 14 passengers

From Mukhtar Ahmad, for CNN
February 17, 2014 -- Updated 0104 GMT (0904 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An overloaded bus runs off a mountainous road, killing 14 passengers, hurting 28 others
  • The driver lost control and the vehicle was destroyed, officials say
  • The road is dangerous and has been blocked by snow and landslides

Srinagar, India (CNN) -- A bus traveling on a dangerous highway in Indian-administered Kashmir Sunday plunged off the road, killing 14 passengers and injuring 28 others, officials said.

The overloaded bus hurtled down a 300-foot-deep gorge after the driver lost control of the vehicle, a senior government official said.

"Fourteen passengers died on the spot, and 28 others were wounded, some of them critically," Shant Manu, divisional commissioner of the Jammu and Kashmir district, told CNN.

He said contingents of the Indian army and police were deployed immediately to rescue passengers. "We pressed into service Indian Air Force helicopters to evacuate the injured passengers to various hospitals for treatment," he added.

The bus was completely destroyed in the accident.

Accidents on the strategic, serpentine highway connecting the Muslim-majority Kashmir to rest of the country are common because of speeding and the treacherous nature of the road.

The highway is often blocked by snow and landslides. The road was closed to traffic several times this winter, which has had multiple heavy snowfalls.

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