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Dozens killed in bus accident in Afghan mountains

Mar 17, 2010 7:56:00 AM - thestate.com
A bus plunged off a mountain road in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains Wednesday, catching fire and leaving as many as 35 people dead, though authorities were still pulling burned bodies from the wreckage.

Dr. Sanim Rasouli, health director in Baghlan province, says the bus picked up speed, struck other vehicles and then plunged off a road near the Salang Pass, a major route through the mountains about 70 miles (115 kilometers) north of the capital, Kabul.

"The bus failed to brake and hit several other small vehicles on its way down a hill," Rasouli said, adding that the brakes might not have been working.

He said dozens of people - some of them children - burned to death when the bus caught fire.

The Afghan Interior Ministry reported that up to 35 people were killed in the accident just north of the 12,700-foot- (3,800-meter-) high Salang Pass, the site of an avalanche earlier this year that killed more than 170 people.

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