21 dead in India Hindu bus crash

2010-09-09 14:13

New Delhi - A bus crowded with Hindu pilgrims veered off the road and crashed into a river in central India, killing at least 21 people, media reported on Thursday.

Rescuers worked through the night to scour the Bagdi River in Madhya Pradesh state for survivors and bodies in the hours after the accident late on Wednesday, the Press Trust of India said.

At least 40 passengers swam ashore or were pulled from the swift-moving waters, the agency quoted police as saying. Several bodies may have been swept away in the swollen river, it said.

It was not known how many passengers were on the bus at the time of the accident, it said. The passengers were headed to a popular pilgrimage site.

Local police could not immediately be reached for comment.

India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organisation.

More than 110 000 people die annually nationwide in road accidents, according to police figures.