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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
Kashmir bus death toll tops 40
The death toll in a bus accident in Indian-administered Kashmir on Thursday has now risen to over 40, police officials said.

More than 40 others were injured when the passenger bus veered out of control and plunged down a mountain road.

Officers say the incident happened in Doda district, 165km (100 miles) north of the state's winter capital, Jammu.

Reports say nearly 90 passengers were travelling in the 40-seater bus, many on rooftop.

Reckless driving

The hilly area where the accident took place has got thick forests and narrow winding roads, steep hills and deep gorges and valleys.

The bus was travelling from Srinagar, the state's summer capital, to the remote town of Sangaldan, according to reports.


Police, soldiers and local villagers carried out rescue operations through the night and pulled out at least 22 more bodies of passengers, raising the toll to at least 44.

Senior police official SP Vaid told the Associated Press news agency that the he "heavily overcrowded" bus spun out of control and plunged down a mountain road near the town of Tattapani, north of Jammu.

Some of the critically injured passengers have been moved to a hospital in Srinagar, the state's summer capital.

Road accidents are common and claim thousands of lives every year in India.

Most of the accidents are blamed on reckless driving, old vehicles and poorly maintained roads.

Most passenger buses are also old and in poor condition.

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