SRINAGAR, India (CNN) -- At least 20 people were killed and 26 others injured, 21 of them seriously, Monday afternoon in a road accident in the mountainous Doda district of Indian administered Kashmir.
A senior state government officer said the bus was on its way from Doda to Jammu, when it hurtled into a gorge from a mountainous road at Assar village, nearly 170 kilometers (105 miles) south-east of capital Srinagar while negotiating a curve.
He said that the 21 injured passengers were in critical condition and being airlifted to Jammu for specialized treatment.
"We have so far recovered (the) bodies of 20 passengers from the gorge, and they will handed over to their next of kin after identification," Sharief-ud-Din, district magistrate Doda who launched an immediate rescue and relief operation at the accident site, told CNN.
"A helicopter has been pressed into service to evacuate the injured to the hospital," he said.
Scores of people have perished and been injured in separate road accidents in the mountainous Doda and the adjoining Kishtwar districts this year.
The accidents, which have seen an upswing since last year, are being attributed to the bad road conditions and over speeding and overloading of vehicles in the area.