At least 24 dead after truck plunges into gorge in India

By Siddhartha Kumar

New Delhi (dpa) – At least 24 Hindu pilgrims were killed when a

truck carrying them crashed in a mountain gorge in India’s northern

state of Uttarakhand, police said Monday.

   The truck was en route to the Gangotri shrine when it dropped into

the 150-metre gorge in the Uttarkashi district located 210 kilometres

east of state capital Dehradun on Sunday evening.

   “We recovered 24 bodies in the operations overnight,” area police

chief IG Joshi said by telephone. 

   “All the passengers of the truck including the driver were

killed,” he said.

   Preliminary investigation showed the driver failed to negotiate a

sharp bend on the snowbound road.

   Deadly road accidents in India’s highlands are often caused by

overloading, the poor state of roads and reckless driving. About

120,000 people are killed annually in road accidents, according to

government data.