updated 5/11/2007 6:44:32 AM ET 2007-05-11T10:44:32

A bus plunged nearly 30 feet into a riverbed in eastern India early Friday, killing at least 20 people and injuring 12, an official said.

The accident occurred on a highway near Patna, the capital of Bihar state, said B.K. Singh, a state administrator.

The driver, who was among the dead, lost control of the vehicle as he swerved to avoid hitting a motorbike, Singh told The Associated Press.

"We have recovered 18 bodies," Singh said, adding that two of the 14 people initially reported injured later died in a hospital.

Road accidents caused by reckless driving, aging vehicles and bad roads are common in India.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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