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33 killed as bus falls into river in western India

December 23, 2017

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 33 people were killed on Saturday after a passenger bus veered off a bridge and plunged into a river in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, police said.

Seven injured passengers were hospitalized in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan state, 375 kilometers (235 miles) south of New Delhi, said police officer Narain Singh.

The speeding bus was trying to overtake another vehicle when it rammed through the bridge railing, said B.L. Soni, another police officer. It fell 20 meters (65 feet) down into the Banas river.

The driver was among the dead, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Rescuers have recovered 33 bodies from the river and all on board the bus have been accounted for, said Singh. The victims, who were from various Indian states, were on their way to a nearby Hindu temple in Lalsot, a town in Rajasthan state, for pilgrimage.

The bus had picked up passengers from the Sawai Madhopur railroad station when it crashed around 7 a.m., said Singh.

Police figures show India has the world’s highest road accident death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in crashes. Driver fatigue, negligence, poorly maintained roads and vehicle maintenance are the usual causes of such accidents in the country.

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