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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - At least 17 children were killed when a school bus plunged off a mountain road in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday, two police officers said.

Santosh Patial, a senior police officer in Himachal Pradesh said they had recovered 17 bodies and the death toll could rise.

The school bus carrying more than 30 children swerved off the road and fell into a gorge. Rescue teams have reached the scene and recovery operations were under way.

The bus was transporting children studying at a private school in Nurpur town, 300 km (185 miles) from Shimla, the state capital.

India has the world’s deadliest roads, with almost 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2015, the latest government data shows.

(Reporting by Rupam Jain; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Reuters