An official said that a congested bus was thrown into a bridge and a canal in central India on Tuesday, killing at least 40 people.

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Six people were rescued after the accident in the state of Madhya Pradesh, District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Choudhary said.

Rescuers work at the site of a bus accident in Sidhi district on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.  (Madhya Pradesh District Public Relations Office through Sidhi AP)

Rescuers work at the site of a bus accident in Sidhi district on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. (Madhya Pradesh District Public Relations Office through Sidhi AP)

He Said that the bus was carrying more than 46 people, which was designed for 34.

Rescuers recovered 40 bodies and were searching for other passengers. The water supply to the canal was cut to aid the rescue effort.

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The bus was going from Sidhi district towards Satna district when the accident happened. Officers were investigating the cause.

(Madhya Pradesh District Public Relation Office Sidhi via AP)

(Madhya Pradesh District Public Relation Office Sidhi via AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims and described the accident as “horrific”.

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Police say that more than 110,000 people die every year in road accidents across India. Most accidents are blamed on careless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.