A would-be groom and several relatives going to a wedding were among the 28 people killed when a wooden bridge collapsed and sent a bus crashing into a lake in India’s remote northeast, officials said Tuesday. The bus fell 15 feet (4.5 meters) into the water and then sank with the wedding party trapped inside late Monday near the village of Hajo, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of the Assam state capital of Gauhati, district magistrate S.K. Roy said.
Villagers were first to arrive and rescued 10 people, who were sent to a hospital. They also retrieved 28 bodies. The dead included the groom, his father, two sisters, aunt and uncle, as well as his best man, Roy said. The bride was not aboard the bus. Other relatives later reached the accident site and said all 38 people aboard the bus had been accounted for, and police divers called off a search of the waters, police official Swapnanil Deka said.
India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization. More than 110,000 people die annually nationwide in road accidents, according to police figures. The majority of accidents are caused by bad roads, speeding and poor vehicle maintenance.