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25 killed as wedding party bus falls into ditch in India

Twenty-five members of a wedding party have died after a bus fell into a gorge in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal on Tuesday night.

Some 21 passengers were rescued in an all-night operation at the spot of the accident near Simdi village.

“25 people were found dead in the Pauri Garhwal bus accident that took place last night in the Birokhal area of Dhumakot. Police and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) rescued 21 people overnight; the injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals,” state police chief Ashok Kumar told news agency ANI.

The state police chief has tweeted visuals from the overnight operation, in which rescue teams can be seen taking the injured passengers to safety.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office called the accident “heart-rending” and promised all help. “The bus accident in Pauri, Uttarakhand is heart-rending. In this tragic hour my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those who have been injured recover at the earliest. Rescue operations are underway. All possible assistance will be provided to those affected,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, quoting PM Modi.

The bus accident in Pauri, Uttarakhand is heart-rending. In this tragic hour my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those who have been injured recover at the earliest. Rescue operations are underway. All possible assistance will be provided to those affected: PM Modi

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed his condolences for the deaths in the tragedy and said the state government stands with their families.

Earlier, Haridwar police chief Swantantra Kumar Singh had said that the wedding party had left from Laldhang in the district, about 122 km from the site of the accident in Pauri Garhwal.