Page last updated at 06:23 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 07:23 UK

Many missing in Pakistani crash

A road accident in Pakistan (File photo)
Road accidents are common in Pakistan

At least 34 people are feared dead after their bus plunged into the Indus river in north Pakistan, police said.

The accident happened early on Thursday morning near Malopa Randu village in the Skardu area, 550km (342 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.

Police said most of the passengers were army personnel from Punjab returning to Skardu after their vacations.

Rescue teams have been sent to the area, but so far no bodies have been retrieved from the fast-flowing river.

The bus, run by Mushabroom transport company, left Rawalpindi city near Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon, company spokesman Airan Shah told the BBC website.

He said it was delayed by at least 10 hours because of road construction works along the way.

The drive from Rawalpindi to Skardu usually takes 22 hours.

Malopa, where the accident happened, is about four hours from Skardu.

Road accidents are common in Pakistan.

Roads are poorly maintained and buses are often in poor condition and overcrowded.

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