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At least 29 dead after bus plunges into water-filled gorge in India (VIDEO, PHOTO)

At least 29 dead after bus plunges into water-filled gorge in India (VIDEO, PHOTO)
At least 29 passengers on a double-decker bus heading to Delhi were killed after it veered off an express highway into a 40-foot (12-meter) deep-water drain early on Monday morning. The driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

The bus, carrying some 50 people on board, was traveling to Delhi from the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, when it mounted the divider and fell into a pit between two lanes of the Yamuna expressway at around 4:00am local time on Monday.

A video of the rescue operation shows the bus half-submerged in the water. Police said that 15 or 16 people were pulled out of the wreckage alive and taken to hospitals. The rescuers used tractors to lift the bus from the water, hoping to find survivors in the submerged wreckage.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the driver lost control of the vehicle after he nodded off at the wheel.

“It appears that the driver was sleepy while driving. Until now 29 people have been declared dead and a rescue operation is underway,” said district magistrate of Agra, NG Ravi Kumar, as quoted by News18.

The Uttar Pradesh government announced that it would pay compensation to the families of the deceased.

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