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Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK

World: South Asia

Karnataka bus toll rises

The bus was carrying over a 100 people

The death toll in Monday's bus accident in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has risen to 94.

Rescue workers recovered more bodies from a lake into which the bus had plunged.

The bus was travelling from Davanagere, 250 km from the state capital of Bangalore, to nearby Malebennur when the accident took place in the Harihar area on Monday evening local time.

[ image: The bus was fished out of a lake into which it had fallen]
The bus was fished out of a lake into which it had fallen
Rescue operations were delayed because divers had difficulty breaking into the submerged bus.

A senior Karnataka police official, Abdul Rahman Infant, said all the victims had drowned except one, who later died of injuries.

[ image: 'The worst accident in decades']
'The worst accident in decades'
The dead included 35 women, 46 men and at least 12 children, he said.

The bus accident was described by one police official as "the worst in Karnataka in over two decades."

He said the driver was being charged with negligence.

Police divers and other rescue workers had worked through the night to locate bodies underwater.

It is not known what caused the accident, but some survivors said one of the tyres had burst, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

The bus was reported to be carrying more than 110 passengers.

Indian buses are often overloaded with passengers sitting on top of the bus and hanging from the back.

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