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Bus accident kills 43 people in India, 4 still missing

KOLKATA, India (AP) — Indian rescue workers on Wednesday recovered another body from a canal where a bus fell earlier this week, reportedly while its driver was talking on his cellphone, bringing the death toll to 43.

District Magistrate P. Ulganathan said rescuers were continuing to search for four people still missing after the bus plunged nine meters (30 feet) into the canal in Murshidabad district in West Bengal state on Monday.

Ulganathan said 31 bodies were found trapped in the bus when it was pulled out of the canal late Monday. Another 11 bodies were recovered from the canal on Tuesday.

He said 11 people were rescued and hospitalized with injuries.

The bus careened off a bridge while trying to avoid a head-on collision with a truck. Witnesses said the driver was speaking on his cellphone while driving and refused to heed pleas by the passengers not to do so, The Times of India newspaper reported.

The accident site is 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state.

More than 110,000 people are killed annually on India's roads. Most crashes are attributed to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.

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