India-BusCrash 3rdLd-Writethru 04-16 Web
At least 45 die when bus plunges into canal in western India
Eds: UPDATES death toll; UPGRADES attribution; ADDS details; AMENDS overline. Changes dateline from NEW DELHI.
AHMADABAD, India (AP) — A bus plunged into a canal in western India early today, killing at least 45 people, most of them schoolchildren, an official said.
Forty-five bodies have been pulled out of the canal near Vadodara city in Gujarat state, and rescuers were searching for the 13 remaining passengers, including the bus driver, according to district official Vijay Nehra.
Four children swam ashore and have been hospitalized, Nehra said.
The state government ordered an inquiry into the accident and rushed medical teams to the scene, 95 miles south of Ahmadabad, the key Gujarat city.
The flow of water into the canal from a dam has been stopped to help rescuers locate the missing people, Nehra said.
The victims were mostly students from a village school traveling to a nearby town, Bodeli, to take an examination when the accident occurred, Nehra said. The bus driver appears to have lost control of the vehicle, which smashed through a concrete barricade into the canal.
Residents of a nearby village rushed in to help with rescue operations, he said.