updated 4/21/2006 4:34:29 PM ET 2006-04-21T20:34:29

A bus packed with wedding guests plunged into a river Friday in western Bangladesh. At least nine people were killed and 29 others, including the bride, were feared trapped inside the bus about 45 feet under water.

The bus was boarding a ferry when it toppled into the Chitra River in Narail district, 70 miles west of the capital, Dhaka, local police official Mohammad Alim Mahmud said.

Mahmud said only the groom and 11 other people were able to swim to shore.

The bodies of seven women and two men were pulled from the river, police official Mohammad Jamaluddin told The Associated Press from the town of Narail, near the site of the accident.

Rescuers were trying to reach the sunken bus where the other 29 people were feared trapped, Jamaluddin said.

Groom taken to hospital
The groom was taken to hospital in a state of shock, said Sultan Mahmud, a local journalist who spoke to The Associated Press from the site of the accident.

The groom and bride and his family were returning home after the wedding ceremony in a neighboring district only hours earlier, the journalist said.

Navy and police divers were trying to locate the sunken bus but were hampered by nightfall, another police official said.

The bus was thought to be about 45 feet under water, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Fatal bus accidents claim about 4,000 lives each year in the impoverished South Asian nation.

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