20 killed as overcrowded minibus falls into gorge in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — At least 20 people were killed and 16 others injured on Saturday when an overcrowded minibus fell into a deep gorge along a mountainous road in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The 22-seat minibus was carrying at least 36 passengers when it plunged off a Himalayan mountain road near southern Ramban town, said police officer Anita Sharma.

The vehicle fell into a deep gorge when the driver apparently lost control due to mechanical failure, Sharma said.

The injured were hospitalized, including 12 in critical condition.

In a separate road accident in the region on Saturday, a private truck carrying a group of Indian army soldiers skidded off a road in the southern Shopian area. At least 16 military commandos were injured, police said.

India has the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed annually. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.

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