New Delhi, April 9: At least 29 people, including 27 children, were killed and many others got injured after a school bus in which they were travelling fell into a 100-feet deep gorge in Nurpur area of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish over the loss of lives.

“I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident,” PM Modi said.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed that he spoke to the chief secretary, DG, and deputy commissioner. He said the NDRF was deployed immediately for rescue and relief. The rescue operation was underway with the help of locals. A magisterial probe has also been ordered. He has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the bereaved families.

Police said that the death toll may rise as many students were still trapped in the mangled body of the bus. The students, mostly from Class 5 and below of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial Public School, were on their way home when their bus fell into the gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road.

Earlier, Himachal Pradesh education minister Suresh Bhardawaj confirmed the death of 20 students.

Eyewitnesses said the driver lost control of the vehicle due to which it skid into the gorge. As per the report, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team along with police, volunteers, doctors were rushed to the spot. Locals also came forward to help children and others. The rescue operation is underway. More details are awaited in the incident.

(With agency inputs)