DEHRADUN, June 6 — At least 22 people have died, seven others were seriously injured and one was missing after a bus in a mountainous region in northern India plunged into a gorge Sunday, police told AFP.

The bus was carrying 30 people including the driver to Yamunotri, the remote Hindu pilgrimage site in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, when it went off the road in the evening.

The accident happened in Uttarkashi, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from the state capital Dehradun, and the local control room confirmed 22 deaths.

“The injured persons have been rushed to the nearby medical facilities,” district police superintendent Arpan Yaduvanshi told AFP.

Yaduvanshi added that the rescue workers were still looking for a missing passenger and the death toll “may increase further”.

The picturesque Uttarakhand has some of the holiest Hindu sites and receives millions of pilgrims each year, but has a poorly maintained and notoriously dangerous network of Himalayan roads.

India’s home minister Amit Shah said that he was in touch with the local authorities about the ongoing relief work for the “very sad” incident.

About 150,000 people are killed each year in traffic accidents in India, according to the government.

Among the main factors contributing to the high number of fatalities are excessive speeding and people not using seatbelts or wearing crash helmets. — AFP