An official says a crowded bus has plunged down a steep mountain gorge in northern India, killing 32 people.

Local official Rakesh Mehra says at least 30 other people on the bus were injured in the accident Friday near Baner Khud, around 30 miles south of Dharmsala in India's Himachal Pradesh state.

He says villagers and police climbed down the gorge to the bus and helped rescue the injured passengers and retrieve the bodies of the dead.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Accidents occur frequently on roads in the Himalayan foothills and are often blamed on aging vehicles and overloading.