Myanmar: 19 killed, 21 injured as bus falls into ravine

Arkadev Ghoshal
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At least 19 people were killed and 21 sustained injuries of varying degree when the bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge in the eastern part of Myanmar where the country shares a border with Thailand. 

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Local reports said the bus was travelling from the centrally-placed Bago province when it went off the highway near the town of Myawaddy and fell into the ravine. Nearby authorities were among the first to rush to the spot and help in search and rescue operations. 

Local police sources have told reporters that the driver might have lost control, causing the bus to lunge into the gorge. The police sources also said that some of the injured are "lucky to be alive." There were a total of 40 people on the bus, most of whom are said to be migrant passengers.  

Regional authorities rushed to the spot and started search and rescue operations, but their task was made difficult by the terrain. The gorge is said to be both deep and with steep slopes, making rescue work difficult. 

Local aid groups have since then managed to help the police extricate the injured from the spot and send them to hospitals in and around Myawaddy town. Some of the injured are said to be in "critical condition", giving rise to apprehensions that the death toll in the accident may rise further.