Atleast 18 people were killed and 28 others injured after an overloaded private bus plunged into a gorge near the town of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday afternoon.

The bus carrying 45 passengers was on its way to Kullu from Mandi when driver lost control over the vehicle and it fell into Beas river near Brindavani, some 200 km from state capital, reports IANS.

The district administration and police officials soon rushed to the spot to carry out the rescue operation. The injured have been taken to zonal hospital in Mandi for treatment.

Witnesses told the police that the driver lost control over the vehicle while trying to avoid a motorcyclist.

Deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam said the death toll is expected to rise as most of the passengers are critically wounded.

(Feature image source: Twitter/@ANI)