April 9 (UPI) -- A school bus plunged about 25 feet into a gorge in northern India on Monday, killing dozens of students and adults, local emergency officials said.
The bus went off the roadway after the driver lost control on a curve near the town of Nurpur in Himachal Pradesh. The vehicle rolled down the embankment, throwing some victims from windows.
Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur told the Press Trust of India that 30 people died -- 27 children, two teachers and the bus driver. Emergency officials transported at least 13 people to nearby hospitals.
The victims were as young as 5 years old, and at least one was returning home from his first day at school. The students attended Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School.
"I had never thought that they would never return," father Naresh Kumar said of his son Naitik and daughter Shrutika, who both died.
Local officials ordered an investigation into the case of the crash. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced the government would give the next of kin of each of the dead about $7,700 in compensation.