NEW DELHI, April 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 44 people were killed and 12 others injured, some of them critically, after a passenger bus carrying them fell into river in northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, officials said Wednesday.

The accident took place near Guma in the remote area of Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh.

"This afternoon, a bus carrying 56 people met with an accident and fell into river Tons, killing 44 people and injuring 12 others," Rohan Chand Thakur, deputy commissioner of Shimla, told Xinhua via telephone.

"We have rushed police and medical staff to the spot."

Officials said the bus was coming from the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand and had to pass through the remote area of Shimla.

The cause of the accident was not known immediately.

"We have rushed our teams to the spot to retrieve bodies and carry out the rescue work," Deepak Kumar, a disaster management official of Shimla, said.

Deadly road accidents are common in India due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.

India's ministry of road transport said in 2015 that 146,133 people were killed and 500,279 others injured in 501,423 road accidents across the country.

Global Road Safety Report - 2015 released by the World Health Organization last year, however, said India accounted for more than 200,000 deaths annually due to road accidents.