updated 9/19/2008 5:08:03 AM ET 2008-09-19T09:08:03

A bus rolled off a mountain highway and crashed into a river Friday in central Nepal, killing at least 14 people and injuring 25 others, police said.

The bus plummeted 600 feet down the mountainside before slamming into the river in Mahadev Beshi village, about 100 miles west of the Nepalese capital Katmandu, police official Thakur Prasad Poudel said.

The injured were taken to hospitals in nearby towns, and police and soldiers were searching the river for other victims, Poudel said.

Police were investigating the cause of the accident but initial reports suggested the driver lost control of the vehicle. The bus was carrying passengers and a large amount of cargo on the roof, he said.

Accidents are common in mountainous Nepal, where narrow roads with hairpin turns are poorly maintained.

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