At least 32 people killed as bus plunges into a river in India
December 23 2017 11:15 AM
plunges into a river

Dpa/New Delhi

At least 32 people, many of them Hindu pilgrims, were killed after a bus plunged into a river in India's north-western state of Rajasthan on Saturday.

According to police, the bus skidded off the bridge, crashed through its railing and fell about 100 feet into the Banas river in the Sawai Madhopur district.

‘A total of 32 bodies have been recovered from the river during the operations,’ district police chief Maman Singh said, adding seven more passengers were injured.

‘It appears that the driver lost control of the bus. Initial investigations suggest that he might have been trying to overtake another vehicle on the bridge,’ he said.

Other media reports said that the driver was 16 years old, and too young to be driving the vehicle. He was among the victims.

The bus was carrying worshippers to a Hindu shrine as well as locals from Rajasthan, he added.

The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where the condition of one of the passengers was said to be serious.

Police said most of the passengers were accounted for but teams from the national disaster response force were still carrying out rescue work to find if there were survivors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, anguished by the tragedy, has offered his condolences to the families of the affected.

India has the highest number of traffic fatalities in the world. An average of 135,000 people die on the country's roads each year, according to government data.

Many of these accidents are caused by reckless driving, bad roads or the poor condition of vehicles. 

Last updated: December 23 2017 11:16 AM

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