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46 Die in Bus Accident in India

May 27, 2002

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CALCUTTA, India (AP) _ A bus smashed into a tree and plunged into a canal Monday on the outskirts of Calcutta, killing at least 46 people.

The driver, who died in the accident, lost control after one of the tires burst, and the bus overturned into the canal, said Inspector General of Police Chayan Mukherjee. Three passengers survived, he said.

The bus was making the 11-mile trip from Ghatakpur to Calcutta. The accident occurred at Chowbhaga, six miles south of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal state.

Bus accidents with high death tolls are common in India, where vehicles are often crowded, roads are poorly maintained and drivers travel at high speeds. Private buses often go fast to make as many trips as possible to boost revenue. The bus involved in Monday’s incident was privately owned.

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