At least 35 people were feared killed when a state-run bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge near Mallu area in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Monday evening.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus, carrying nearly 40 people, was on its way from Palampur to Ashapuri Temple when it fell down from a hilltop on Palampur-Ashapuri road, officials said.
The number of casualties was likely to be heavy, they said.
Besides darkness, the soil has become slippery due to heavy rains in the area, hampering the rescue operation.
So far, only one dead body has been recovered but the chances of survival of passengers were very remote, officials said.
The officers of the district administration, transport, police, fire brigade and medical bodies have rushed to the spot but are yet to reach the bus, officials said.