Thirteen people were killed and dozens of others injured when a bus carrying tourists through the Himalayan region of northern India plunged off a mountain road and into a gorge.

A senior state police officer has warned the death toll may rise. 

Around 40 people were injured in the accident that happened yesterday evening in the Himachal Pradesh state, around 150km from the state capital Shimla. 

Local villagers said they struggled in the dark to remove bodies from the bus as the police were late to arrive at the scene. 

Around 140,000 people are killed on India's roads each year, which works out at 16 an hour, according to the latest available government statistics.

Bad roads, speeding vehicles and poor driving are among contributing factors.