At least 20 persons were killed and seven injured when a bus fell into a gorge at Katarghat on Basantpur-Kingal highway, 65 km, on Tuesday afternoon.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus carrying over 30 persons was on its way from Shimla to Sawerakhud when the accident took place, a senior police official said.
Seventeen bodies have so far been recovered and some morebodies are trapped in the wreckages of the bus, said SP, Shimla, D.W.Negi, who visited the spot.
The condition of the seven injured admitted in Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital here was stated to be serious. The driver of the bus jumped out of the vehicle and was reported safe, Negi said. The bodies of the victims who are yet to be identified have been sent for postmortem.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh asked the Shimla district administration to conduct the relief and rescue operations on a war footing. The chief minister also visited IGMC and enquired about the condition of the injured persons. He asked the hospital administration to provide all possible medical help to the injured.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.