Bus crash kills 44 in Himachal Pradesh after plunge off mountain road

NEW DELHI:  A bus fell off a mountain road in a northern Indian state and plunged into a river on Wednesday, killing 44 people, officials said.

There were just two survivors from the 46 on board, its conductor and a passenger who jumped off just before the mishap in the state of Himachal Pradesh, said Anil Chauhan, a local government official.

Rescue efforts have been launched at the accident site near Nerwa, a town about 110 km (68 miles) from Shimla, the state capital, he added.

Deadly traffic accidents are common in India, where driving standards are poor and roads and vehicles badly maintained, but Wednesday's crash was unusual for its heavy death toll.

India has the world's deadliest roads, with almost 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2015, the latest government data shows.