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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
14 children dead in Egypt bus plunge
Cairo traffic
Egypt has one the highest traffic accident rates in the world
At least 14 school children drowned when the bus they were travelling in crashed into a canal in southern Egypt on Wednesday, local police have said.

The children, aged between 10 and 12, were on a public bus taking them home after classes when it hit an articulated lorry before crashing into the Asfun canal in the Esna region, 750 kilometres (470 miles) south of Cairo.

Esna map
Twenty-eight other people, whose ages are not yet known, were injured in the incident.

They were taken to a hospital in Esna for treatment, officials said.

Another six escaped unhurt from the canal near the villages of al-Qaraya and al-Mashabek, the police said.

Police warned that the death toll could rise as the emergency services were trying to retrieve more bodies. The number of passengers on the bus was not known.

Both vehicles plunged into the canal after the collision, the cause of which is not yet clear.

Egypt has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Frank Gardner in Cairo
"Tragedies like this are all too common in Egypt"
See also:

08 Mar 99 | Middle East
Egypt's killer traffic
11 Mar 00 | Middle East
More traffic riots in Egypt
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