updated 8/3/2008 2:28:38 AM ET 2008-08-03T06:28:38

At least 40 farm laborers were killed and dozens more wounded after the overcrowded truck they were traveling in plunged into a river in northern India, police said Sunday.

The accident late Saturday night came as the workers were returning home from the fields near the village of Ghoomsa in Bihar state, said local superintendent of police S. P. Shukla. Ghoomsa is 80 miles south of Patna, the state capital.

Shukla said 35 people were killed in the crash, while five others died in hospital. Five more people were in a critical condition, he said.

At least 80 people were believed to have been crammed into the back of the truck when the driver lost control, sending the vehicle into the river, Shukla said.

Television footage showed two long rows of bodies lying on the river bank and rescue workers searching for survivors.

Deadly road accidents are common in India and are often caused by poor driving, bad roads and old, overloaded vehicles.

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