At least 25 persons were drowned and several others missing Wednesday morning after a bus fell into the Gobind Sagar reservoir at Rayian near Bilaspur.
Twenty-five bodies have so far been recovered while 15 injured persons have been taken to a Bilaspur hospital, Bilaspur Deputy Commissioner Ajay Sharma said, adding that efforts are on in full swing to trace the missing.
The 40-seater bus was packed to capacity and some people were said to have been also travelling on its roof, sparking fears that the toll may be higher.
A number of students and labourers who were making their daily commute from Rishikesh to Bilaspur are among the victims.
The bus has been pulled out of the reservoir. The ill- fated bus belonging to a private transportation company was on its way from Rishikesh to Bilaspur and most of the passengers on board were locals.
Among the injured are about half-a-dozen passengers who managed to jump out of the bus in order to save themselves.
Divers of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) have joined efforts to fish out the bodies.
A large crowd of locals has gathered at the spot making anxious enquiries about the victims of the mishap.