16 killed as bus falls into dry river bed

Sixteen people have been killed in central India after a bus crashed through the railings of a bridge before falling into a dry river bed.

The bus driver lost control of the vehicle as he tried to avoid hitting a motorbike at a sharp bend in the Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh state.

Police officer RS Nayak said 14 people perished at the scene, while two others died later in hospital.

More than 50 people were taken to hospital, with 14 of them in a critical condition.

They were airlifted to Raipur, the state capital, where better medical facilities are available.

Bus accidents are common in India, due mainly to poor driving, vehicle overcrowding, badly-maintained roads and aged vehicles.

Around 240,000 people die in road accidents every year across the country, according to the transportation ministry.

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