A speeding truck driver ran over and killed 12 Hindu pilgrims on Tuesday who were sleeping on the side of a busy road in northeastern India, while another bus crash claimed 21 lives further north.
Upendra Kumar Sharma, superintendent of police for Aurangabad, said more than 50 pilgrims were resting up for the night after visiting a temple in neighbouring Jharkhand state when the lorry driver lost control.
"The pilgrims had parked their bus and were sleeping in the open nearby when the speeding vehicle crushed them to death," he told AFP.
Hours later, a bus swerved off a mountain road into a deep gorge killing 21 passengers in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, police said.
"Seventeen bodies have been moved out of the gorge by rescue teams. Three other bodies are still trapped in the mangled bus," D.W. Negi, a senior state police officer, said.
Seven others were injured after the bus rolled down into the 300-foot (91-metre) deep gorge.
The region has been lashed by heavy monsoon rains in the past few days, resulting in poor visibility.
India has one the world's worst road safety records with figures showing around 140,000 people are killed each year -- which works out at 16 an hour.