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India: Bus Plunges Off Bridge Killing Dozens [PHOTO]

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Rescuers and bystanders look at the wreckage of a passenger bus after it fell from a bridge in Ratnagiri districtAt least 37 people have been killed after a bus packed with passengers crashed through a barrier and fell several metres off a bridge in western India.

The vehicle was travelling overnight from the beach resort state of Goa to Mumbai when the driver suddenly lost control in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, police said.

Most of the wounded, including the driver, suffered head and arm injuries and were being treated at a local hospital.

The cause of the accident, which happened in the Khed area about 125 miles south of Mumbai, was not immediately clear.

Pictures from the scene showed the bus lying on its roof next to a bridge after falling to the banks of the Jagbudi river.

The vehicle had landed on a dried-up patch of land next to low-lying water.

It had a capacity of 55 passengers, but police official Mahendra Singh Pardeshi said it was not known how many people were on board.

About 110,000 people were killed in Indian road accidents in 2011 – more than 300 every day – according to figures from the National Crime Records Bureau.

Bad roads, speeding vehicles and poor driving were among the contributing factors, and bus crashes with death tolls in double figures are far from rare.

The Ratnagiri crash came a day after a senior official revealed more than 800 people have died in accidents on the Mumbai-Goa highway in the past three years.

Maharashtra’s home minister R R Patil said 828 people died and 2,411 were seriously injured between 2010 and the end of 2012, the Press Trust of India reported.

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Rescuers and bystanders look at the wreckage of a passenger bus after it fell from a bridge in Ratnagiri district

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