A school bus with 40 children on board that was believed to have met with an accident in Jammu’s Rajouri district has returned with all its occupants safe and sound, a police official said on Thursday.

“The bus has returned safely. All school children are safe,” Additional Superintendent of Police Poonch Masroor Mir said.

Earlier, a police official was quoted as saying that at least 40 school children were feared dead when a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge in Rajouri.

The Gareeb Nawaz Academy school bus was carrying 45 persons on a picnic from Manjakot in Poonch to Peer Ki Gali on the Mughal Road that connects Rajouri with Shopian district in the Kashmir Valley. The school is based in Poonch