Many pilgrims were undertaking a journey from Punjab to Chintpurni shrine in Himachal Pradesh and had stopped for refreshments alongside the highway when the bus hit them. Police say the accident was a result of failure of brakes.
Authorities said it took them a long time to reach the accident site due to the hilly terrain and a rush of pilgrims participating in the Sawan Ashtami fair of the holy shrine of Goddess Chintpurni.
The Deputy Commissioner of Hoshiarpur Anindita Mitra said three people who were critically injured in the accident were shifted to PGI hospital in Chandigarh and monetary help was provided to all families affected.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has also asked the Hoshiarpur police to provide all possible help to families of victims.