The bus was on its way from Uchha Takkar to Renuka when the mishap occurred near the village, 75 kms from district headquarters Nahan. The bus broke into pieces and some of the bodies recovered from the wreckage were mutilated beyond recognition. The death toll could rise as the chances of survival of any passenger are remote, Additional Deputy Magistrate Manmohan Sharma said.

Fifteen bodies have been recovered and brought to the roadside and search operations to trace the remaining bodies covered under thick grass in difficult terrain are on, SDM, Sangrah, Harish Negi, said. The total number of passengers travelling in the bus could not be ascertained but local people said that it could be more than 20.

The bodies are being identified but almost all the victims hail from Uchha Takkar, Ransua-Jabrog and surrounding villages. Himachal Governor Urmilla Singh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Transport Minister GS Bali and former Speaker Ganguram Musafir have expressed grief over the tragedy and conveyed their condolences to the bereaved families.

(Agencies)

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