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OCCUPIED SRINAGAR: At least 37 people were killed in Illegally Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on Wednesday when a passenger bus skidded off a mountainous road and plunged into a deep gorge, police said.

The accident took place on a remote road in the Doda area, about 200 kilometres (124 miles) southeast of the region’s capital occupied Srinagar.

Local government official Harvinder Singh told AFP that 37 people had been killed.

Police said they feared the death toll could rise, with at least 18 people injured in the crash taken to hospital, officials said.

The accident was “caused by the driver’s negligence by hitting the crash bar of the road”, police officer Sunil Gupta said.

“The bus tumbled down the mountain some 250 metres (800 feet),” he said.

A video clip from the site showed a grisly scene of several dead bodies, as rescuers tried to help the injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the accident was “distressing” and offered his “condolences to the families who have lost their near and dear ones”.

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