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India: Bus crashes into gorge, killing at least 39 (VIDEO)

India has the world's highest number of road deaths, with over 110,000 casualties every year.

India crash 08 11 12Enlarge
An overcrowded bus has crashed in India, killing at least 39. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)

A bus crashed into a gorge in India Saturday, killing at least 39 people.

The bus was traveling between Chambra and Bharmaur when it crashed in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, BBC News reported. The vehicle is privately owned and was reportedly overcrowded with passengers, including some who were riding on the roof, the Guardian reported. 

The vehicle fell into a gorge that was 76 meters (almost 250 feet) deep, according to Agence France Presse, after the driver reportedly lost control of the bus at a sharp bend on a mountain road 385 miles north of New Delhi, according to the Guardian

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Several sources are reporting higher death tolls for the accident: CNN is reporting at least 41 dead and 17 seriously injured; RTE cited 52 deaths and expected the death toll to rise further; the Associated Press also has a death count of 52 with 46 injuries. 

An investigation has been ordered to determine the cause of the crash, though the overloading of the bus is the likely culprit, district administration chief Sunil Chaudhury told CNN.

India has the world's highest road death toll, according to police figures. The AP reported that over 110,000 people die in the country each year in accidents often caused by overcrowding, speeding, and poor vehicle and road maintenance.

More from GlobalPost: India bus falls off bridge, killing as many as 32

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120811/india-bus-crash-gorge