Investigators say tire marks at the accident site suggest that the bus was traveling too fast and the driver may have made a mistake in steering the wheel.
"The bus rolled into a 200ft-deep gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver", said Santosh Patyal, a senior local police official.
At least 27 children and three adults were killed when a school bus plunged off a mountain road in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday, officials say.
Most of the passengers were below the age of 10, police said. Two of them were in a critical condition. Additional OPS college students riding the bus ended up found by another bus brought to their destinations, he explained.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the loss of lives in the latest incident.
"I am deeply shocked to learn about the tragic bus accident...my heart goes out to the family members of the deceased", wrote Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on his twitter account. Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs each for the family of the accident victims and ordered a magisterial probe to ascertain the cause of the accident. However, accidents like this one are quite common in India due to the awful condition of infrastructure and inadequate safety measures.
Initial reports indicated the bus driver was speeding as he took the children home and lost control at the edge of the gorge.
The bus is operated by Student Transportation of America, he said.