Bus crash in northern India leaves 39 dead

Rescuers look at a bus that plunged into the Beas River near Kullu, India, Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Image caption Rescuers used boats to reach the accident site north of Shimla

The death toll in a bus crash in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has risen to 39, police say.

Fourteen others were hurt when the bus skidded off the road into a fast-flowing river near Kullu, a summer resort 250km (155 miles) north of the state capital, Shimla.

The bus was partially submerged in the river, forcing rescuers to use boats.

Road accidents are common in India. In 2011, more than 130,000 people were killed on the country's roads.

It is less than a month since a similar crash killed 12 people in Himachal Pradesh. An SUV carrying them fell into a gorge in Chamba district.

The overcrowded bus was carrying local people and fell into the Beas river on Wednesday evening.

Police on Thursday said they had recovered and identified 39 bodies, but feared that those of other victims might have been washed away.

Seventeen of the dead were women and three were children, police said.

The police said they were looking for the driver of the bus, who reportedly jumped out of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

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