Officials said the bus fell into a 213-metre deep gorge in the Himalayan foothills.AP: KK Production
At least 48 people are dead after an overcrowded bus plunged off a mountain road and into a gorge in northern India, according to officials.
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand state Trivendra Rawat said the bus fell into a 213-metre deep gorge in the Himalayan foothills.
He said about a dozen other people were injured and hospitalised.
Police said the 28-seat bus was carrying about 60 people.
"People were packed like sardines," police officer Jagat Ram Joshi, said.
He said at least seven of the injured were in critical condition.
Police official Manoj Kumar said rescuers recovered 48 bodies from the accident site.
Photo Injured passengers were airlifted out of the gorge to hospital in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.AP: KK Production
Earlier, rescue and retrieval work was hampered by inclement weather, senior police official Sanjay Gunjiyal said.
It was not clear what caused the crash, but Mr Gunjiyal said bad weather could have caused the bus to skid off the road.
"It is raining [in the area] since morning. Two days back there was a landslide in that area," he said, adding that residents were the first to reach the site and help the victims.
Rescue operations are complete and police are trying to get the dead bodies identified by relatives and friends, the police official said.
Mr Gunjiya said the terrain was inhospitable and communications were poor.
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.