updated 9/7/2007 3:14:57 PM ET 2007-09-07T19:14:57

A truck carrying religious pilgrims crashed into a gorge in northwestern India on Friday night, killing at least 72 people and injuring at least 70, a news report said.

The accident occurred when the truck driver lost control while taking a sharp turn near the city of Jaisalmer in rural Rajasthan state, the Press Trust of India news agency said, quoting police superintendent Rupinder Singh.

The truck smashed through a protective wall on the highway and hurtled 80 feet into the gorge, Singh said.

He said 70 people have been hospitalized.

The pilgrims were going to the Ramdev temple, revered by both Hindus and Muslims, also near Jaisalmer, for an annual pilgrimage.

Rescuers have recovered 70 bodies, using cranes and searchlights, the news agency said.

Jaisalmer is more than 400 miles southwest of New Delhi.

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