At least 35 people were killed and 17 were injured after a minibus fell into a deep gorge in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday morning, District Magistrate Angrez Singh Rana told the Hindustan Times.

The vehicle was on its way from Keshwan village to Kishtwar town. It skidded off the road at Sirgwari and rolled down into the gorge around 7.30 am, PTI reported. Rescue operations are going on. A resident in the area told the Hindustan Times that the injured were taken to Kishtwar’s district hospital.

“The accident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar is heart-wrenching,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We mourn all those who lost their lives and express condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.”

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said he was “highly disturbed” on receiving the news of the accident. “Already in touch with district administration and police authorities,” he added. “Offered to provide all possible help.” Kishtwar is in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, which Singh represents.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Congress, and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah tweeted their condolences.

Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of those killed, PTI reported. He said all reasons for such incidents would be investigated thoroughly. Strong decisions would be taken in the next meeting of the State Administrative Council, he was quoted as saying by his spokesperson.

Malik had earlier asked the Transport Department officers to take away unfit vehicles and untrained drivers off the road as most such accidents take place due to “careless and untrained” drivers, the spokesperson said.