Bus plunges into gorge, kills 39

Last updated 19:19 11/08/2012

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A crowded bus fell into a deep gorge in northern India on Saturday, killing at least 39 people, police said.

The driver lost control of the vehicle at a sharp bend on a mountain road in Himachal Pradesh state, nearly 620km north of New Delhi, said police officer Raj Kumar.

The bus then plunged more than 100m into the gorge, Kumar told The Associated Press.

Twenty other people injured in the accident have been hospitalised, the Press Trust of India news agency said. 

Kumar said the rescue operation was continuing and that the death toll of 39 was likely to rise.  

Police figures show India has the world’s highest road death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in accidents commonly caused by overcrowding, speeding, and poor vehicle and road maintenance.

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- AP

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