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Bus fire kills 30 in India

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bus hits road barrier and crashes, killing at least 30, including 10 children
  • 30 others wounded in crash in southern Indian state
  • Minister: Nearly 138,000 died in crashes in Indian highways in 2008

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- At least 30 passengers, including 10 children, were killed Sunday when a bus carrying them caught fire after a crash in southern India, police said.

The pre-dawn wreck occurred at Chitradurga district of Karnataka state when the bus hit a road barrier and plummeted five feet down, said district police chief Labhu Ram.

It then caught fire, killing at least 30 passengers, including 10 children, he told CNN.

An officer at the district police control room said about 30 others were injured in the crash, including the bus driver.

According to assistant sub-inspector G. Karayappaa, the bus was heading to Bangalore, India's technology hub -- about 125 miles (202 km) from Chitradurga.

Nearly 138,000 people were killed in crashes on India's national highways in 2008, the country's junior road transport minister, Mahadev Singh Khandela, told parliament earlier this month.

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