Mandi (HP), (PTI) At least 14 people were today killed and over two dozen injured when a private bus plunged into the Beas river near Vindravani in Mandi district, about 155 km from here.
The ill-fated bus with over 40 passengers on board was travelling to Kullu from Manali when it veered off the road while trying to avoid a motorcyclist and fell into the turbulent Beas, police officers said.
The incident, in which 14 people were killed, took place hardly 3 km from Mandi, police said.
Unconfirmed reports, however, put the toll at 16. The victims are yet to be identified.
The injured people, over two dozen of them, were rushed to the zonal hospital at Mandi. The condition of two of them is stated to be critical.
The bus was close to the banks of the river which made rescue operations easier, police said.
Mandi Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam and IG Ajay Yadav immediately reached the spot along with rescue teams
Though there was only a remote possibility of passengers getting washed away in the river, divers have been called in as a precautionary measure to locate missing persons, if any.
The Mandi DC said rescue operations were in progress and all possible help is being provided to the victims.
Transport minister G S Bali expressed deep shook over the accident and said an inquiry would be launched to ascertain its cause.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who is in Delhi, has been informed about the accident, he said.
Most of the people travelling in the bus were from Mandi and Kullu and other places on the Mandi-Kullu National Highway 21