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India bus crash 'claims 34 lives'

31 July 08 18:32 GMT

At least 34 Nepalese pilgrims have been killed in a bus crash near the town of Chamoli in the northern Indian state of Uttaranchal, officials say.

The town's district magistrate told the BBC that the bus plunged into the Alaknanda river, a Ganges tributary.

He said only four people had survived and they were in a serious condition. Most of the dead are women.

The police and rescue teams have managed to recover only 20 bodies from the river.

Correspondents say that the region where the crash happened is prone to accidents as many roads are built along rivers with steep drops.

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

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

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