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NEW DELHI: At least 25 people have died after a bus carrying wedding guests veered off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in northern India, police said Wednesday.

The vehicle went over the edge and fell at least 500 meters with about 45 people on board while driving on a dangerous mountain road in Uttarakhand.

“Twenty people have been rescued,” state police chief Ashok Kumar told AFP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “as much assistance as possible” would be given to survivors.

“My thoughts are with the family at this tragic time,” he tweeted Wednesday.

Fatalities are common in Uttarakhand, which includes parts of India’s Himalayas and is home to numerous religious pilgrimage sites.

Nearly 20 people died in June when a bus plunged into a gorge en route to a shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Yamuna, north of the state capital, Dehradun.

According to a World Bank report released last year, India is responsible for 11% of the world’s road fatalities despite owning only 1% of the world’s cars.

The same report estimates that there are 150,000 car accident fatalities in India annually, or one death every four minutes.

He added that road accidents cost the Indian economy about $75 billion annually, with many accident survivors driven into poverty due to medical costs and lost income. 25 dead as wedding bus plunges into Indian gorge

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