Nineteen people were killed and another critically injured when a bus rolled down a 600-feet deep gorge near Ransua-Jabrog village in Sirmaur district on Friday morning.

The bus with 20 passengers on board was on its way from Uchha Takkar to Renuka when the mishap occurred.The bus broke into pieces and some of the bodies recovered from the wreckage were mutilated beyond recognition.

While 18 persons died on the spot, an injured person succumbed to his injuries in Dadhau hospital, Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Labroo told PTI from the spot.

Bodies of all the 18 persons have been recovered from the gorge and a critically injured passenger has been rushed to a hospital at Dadahu.

The bodies were brought to roadside by rescue teams led by SDM, Sangrah, Harish Negi and local people and sent for post-mortem.

Search operations were hampered as some of the bodies were covered under thick grass and the slopes had become slippery due to rains.

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 G S Bali and former Speaker Ganguram Musafir expressed grief over tragedy and conveyed their condolences to bereaved families