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India bus crash toll rises

09 May 2013, 12:00

New Delhi - The death toll in a bus crash in India's northern state of Himachal Pradesh has risen to 39, police said on Thursday.

Twenty-three passengers were injured when the bus skidded off a mountain road and fell into the Beas river near the town of Kullu on Wednesday evening.

"More bodies were found from the river and near the partially-submerged bus overnight, taking the toll to 39," area police chief Vinod Dhawan said.

Twenty-one women and five children were among the dead, Dhawan said by telephone from Kullu, about 200km north of state capital Shimla.

Police said two or three passengers were still missing and they were looking for the driver who reportedly jumped out of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

More than 110 000 people are killed in road crashes annually in India.

Tough driving conditions in the mountains and poorly maintained vehicles are blamed for accidents that claim hundreds of lives in Himachal Pradesh ever year.


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