New Delhi: Twelve people have been killed as a private bus fell into a 200-feet-deep gorge near the Panchpula bridge in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district on Saturday. The mishap took place near Banikhet in Dalhousie sub-division. The bus was coming from Dalhousie and it was heading to Pathankot in Punjab.

Several passengers have been injured in the accident and the death toll may go up, said Chamba Superintendent of Police (SP) Monica Bhutunguru.  She said a team led by Dalhousie Deputy Superintendent of Police has arrived at the accident site and rescue operation is on.

Officials said the operation to rescue the passengers is hampered by darkness.

In a statement issued in Shimla, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the incident and directed the district administration to provide immediate relief to the affected.