At least seven people were killed and 12 seriously injured on Sunday when the bus they were traveling in fell into a gorge near Naeneti area on the Solan-Rajgarh road, about 70 kilometres from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The bus was on its way from Rajgarh to Manav towns at the time of the accident, PTI reported.

Villagers rushed to the spot to help the victims before informing the local authorities. Most of those injured were taken to Regional Hospital in Solan town, NDTV reported.

Sirmaur District Deputy Police Commissioner Lalit Jain said authorities had completed the rescue operation, IANS reported. Rescuers had a difficult time extricating the bodies from the gorge as the bus was badly mangled, unidentified eyewitnesses said.

Most of the victims were from Rajgarh, Jain added. He said the cause of the accident was not yet known.