Double-decker bus collides with milk truck in northern India, killing at least 18 people

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LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A double-decker bus collided with a milk truck in northern India on Wednesday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more, officials said.

The crash occurred on a highway in Uttar Pradesh state and 19 injured people were taken to hospital by villagers in the area, police officer Arvind Kumar said, adding that their condition was stable. The bus was travelling from the northern state of Bihar to the capital New Delhi.

“Authorities are identifying the victims and an investigation has been launched to determine the exact cause of the accident,” Kumar added.

Gaurang Rathi, a government official, said preliminary investigations showed the bus was possibly speeding when it hit the milk truck from behind, causing both vehicles to overturn. The impact was so severe that one side of the bus was torn off, throwing passengers out. Television footage showed bodies strewn across the road.

India has one of the highest road fatality rates in the world, with hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries every year. Most accidents are attributed to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and outdated vehicles.

In May, a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims skidded and rolled into a deep gorge on a mountainous highway in Indian-controlled Kashmir. in which at least 21 people died.

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