Bus falls into dry river bed in central India, killing 16

PATNA: Police say a passenger bus fell into a dry river bed after crashing through the railing of a bridge in central India, killing 16 people.

Police say the crash occurred Wednesday night when the bus driver lost control of the vehicle as he tried to avoid hitting a motorbike-rider at a sharp bend on the road in Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh state.

Police officer RS Nayak said Thursday that 14 people died on the spot and two later in a hospital.

More than 50 injured were hospitalised, 14 of them in critical condition, Nayak said.

Bus accidents are common in India, due mainly to rash driving, vehicle overcrowding, badly maintained roads and aged vehicles. About 240,000 people die in road accidents every year, according to the transportation ministry.