AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
DEHRADUN: At least 24 Hindu pilgrims were killed when a packed bus plunged into a fast-flowing river in northern India on Tuesday after colliding with a truck, officials said. The bus, which was on its way back from the holy shrine of Badrinath, rammed into the truck near the town of Byasi, 150 kilometres from Uttarakhand state capital Dehradun. “The bus plunged into the Alaknanda river following the collision and 24 people died,” Kunal Sharma, the local civil administrator, told AFP. Another 24 people who were injured in the crash were treated in nearby hospitals. The driver of the bus survived the accident as he jumped out of the vehicle before it plunged down the steep, rocky terrain, Sharma said. India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health OrganiSation, with accidents caused by speeding, careless driving and poor roads. Nearly 135,000 people or 366 a day died on India’s roads in 2010.