amritsar.jpg
Photograph: Google maps

At least eight children were killed when a school bus rolled into a large canal in India's northern state of Punjab on Tuesday, police said.

The bus, carrying 37 children, was bringing the students home after school when the accident occurred near Amritsar city, regional police chief Harkamal Preet Singh said.

Eight of the 20 injured children died, while 17 children others were rescued or swam to safety. Those who died were mostly kindergarten and nursery school students, the police chief said.

Initial investigations indicated the accident happened after the driver lost control of the vehicle. Most children had been accounted for, but operations were continuing at the site.

India's high rate of fatal traffic accidents - an average of 135,000 people annually for the past five years - is due in part to poorly maintained roads and vehicles.

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