Bus falls from highway bridge in northern India, killing 29

Speeding bus plunges off expressway bridge in northern India, killing 29 people and injuring 18, officials say

LUCKNOW, India -- A speeding bus smashed through the boundary wall of an expressway bridge and plunged into a drain in northern India early Monday, killing at least 29 people on board, an official said.

Most passengers were sleeping when the accident occurred on Yamuna Expressway near Agra in Uttar Pradesh state, said government spokesman Awanish Awasthi. The bus was on its way to New Delhi from Lucknow, the state capital.

Awasthi said 18 injured passengers have been hospitalized with six of them in serious condition.

The cause of the crash is being investigated, he said.

"The bus was speeding and the driver probably dozed off," District Magistrate N. G. Ravi Kumar told reporters. He didn't know whether the driver was among the dead.

India has the world's deadliest roads, with about 150,000 killed and 470,000 injured annually. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.