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44 Die in India Truck Crash

December 19, 2000

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ A truck crowded with villagers went out of control and fell into a deep gorge in northern India, killing 44 people, district officials said Tuesday.

Only one passenger survived in the accident in Chakoli, a village in the northern Himachal Pradesh state, local administrator R.S. Rana told The Associated Press.

Forty people died immediately after the bus plunged down the hill and toppled down the slopes. Four others died at a nearby hospital, Rana said.

The area is 265 miles north of India’s capital New Delhi.

Rana said dozens of people were traveling to a remote mountainous area in the state where votes were being counted in village elections, when the truck went out of control and swerved off the mountain road.

Few other details were immediately available.

Public transport is rare in the remote hilly districts of northern India and people often hitch rides in trucks or tractors.

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