New Delhi (Agencies): At least 44 people were killed when a passenger bus crashed into a gorge in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in northern India  on Sunday, police said.

"At least 44 people have died in the accident . At least 3 others are injured. The rescue work is still ongoing," Deepesh Chandra Kala, a disaster management officer from Pauri Garhwal district where the accident occurred, told media.

The accident happened on the Pipali-Bhoan motorway and rescue operations are under way.

According to Indian media reports, 20 bodies have been recovered so far.

About 45 passengers were travelling in the mini bus which was headed for Ramnagar from Bhoan, the reports said.

The reason for the accident is not yet known.