image copyrightPankaj Sharmaimage captionBoulders fell from a hilltop in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh in northern India

Nine tourists have been killed in northern India after the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by falling boulders.

Three others were reportedly injured in the incident, which happened in the state of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

Dramatic footage posted on social media showed large rocks hurtling down a steep valley and onto a bridge.

The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, described the incident as "heart-wrenching".

In video shared on Twitter, large boulders can be seen striking parked vehicles before causing a bridge to collapse in the state's Kinnaur district.

9 dead and 3 injured as a bridge in #SanglaValley of Kinnaur collapses. #HimachalPradeshpic.twitter.com/j0QgnO0sO0

— Shivangi Thakur (@thakur_shivangi) July 25, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was sending his "heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives".

He added that all those affected would be given access to a government relief fund.

Mr Thakur, meanwhile, said an emergency operation was under way to provide immediate assistance to the victims.

Some of those killed were from the capital, Delhi, and were visiting the popular tourist village Chitkul, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

It is not yet clear what caused the incident, but warnings of possible landslides had been issued due to predicted heavy rainfall.

Parts of India have been hit by landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rains, as the country experiences its monsoon season which lasts from June to September each year.

At least 136 people have been killed in the western Indian state of Maharashtra after rainfall overwhelmed hundreds of villages, swept away houses and left residents stranded.