Truck loaded with Hindu pilgrims plunges into gorge in India, killing at least 20 people

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A truck carrying Hindu pilgrims plunged into a gorge Sunday in a mountainous region in northern India, killing at least 20 people as rescuers searched for another seven who were missing.

The devotees were on their way to Gangotri, a town in Uttrakhand state, to collect water from the Ganges River for a Hindu ritual when the vehicle drove off the road, official Amit Chandola said.

Police recovered 20 bodies from the 650-feet (200-meter) deep gorge and were searching for another seven missing people, Chandola said.

Reckless driving appeared to be the cause of the accident near Gangotri, 370 miles (600 kilometers) southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, he said.

More than 110,000 people die annually nationwide in road accidents, according to police figures. Badly maintained roads, overcrowding and aged vehicles are the cause of a majority of accidents in India.