A local government official said the bus fell into a river in India's northwestern Himachal Pradesh state.

The Tons river region in the Himalayas.
The Tons river region in the Himalayas. (TRT World and Agencies)

Forty-four people were killed after a bus swerved off a mountain road and plunged into a deep gorge in northern India's Himachal Pradesh state on Wednesday, a local government official said.

Two people survived the crash, according to Rohan Chand Thakur, the district magistrate of Shimla district.

Thakur said the bus fell into a 200-metre (657-feet) deep gorge on the Tons river and the cause of the accident wasn't immediately clear.

He said that rescue teams were working to recover the wreckage from the gorge.

Driver fatigue, negligence, poor quality roads and vehicle maintenance are the usual causes of such accidents in India.

Police figures show India has the world's highest road accident death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in crashes.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies