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20 killed in eastern India bus crash

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
  • Bus slammed into a tree
  • At least 20 people died; more than 30 wounded
  • Thousands die on India roads every year
  • India

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- At least 20 people were killed as a bus packed with wedding guests slammed into a roadside tree in eastern India on Wednesday, police said.

The crash occurred in Jharkhand state's Dhanbad district early morning, according to officers.

District police chief Suman Gupta told CNN that the bus was heading for neighboring West Bengal state.

More than 30 passengers were injured in the wreck, she said.

Officers faulted the driver for the wreck.

India has a poor road-safety record.

Nearly 138,000 people lost their lives in crashes on the country's national highways in 2008, Junior Road Transport Minister Mahadeo Singh Khandela told parliament last month.

More than 140,000 such deaths were reported in 2006 and 138,922 in 2007, he said.