47 killed in India bus crash

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The Independent Online

At least 44 school children and three adults were killed today when their bus veered off a bridge and plunged into a canal in western India, police said.





Their bodies have been recovered, but some children were still missing, said R K Patel, a senior police officer in Gujarat state. Four children were rescued.



The accident occurred in Vadodara, about 55 miles southwest of Ahmedabad, Gujarat's main city.



The state-owned public bus was carrying more than 60 children and other passengers, officials added.



They said the driver of the bus lost control and ploughed through a concrete railing on the bridge, plunging the bus into the canal.



The driver of the bus, an assistant and a woman were among the dead, police said.



Television pictures showed grieving parents trying to identify their children from among rows of bodies laid out by the canal.



"My daughter was going for her last examination today," Bhikiben, one of the bereaved mothers, told Reuters Television.



"She was very happy that her holidays were to begin, but now everything has ended for her," she said as authorities prepared to take her daughter's body to a local hospital.



Rescuers used boats to look for more bodies in the canal, officials said.



Many anxious parents, uncertain if their children were on the bus, were also seen rummaging through school bags recovered from the water to see if these belonged to their children.

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