updated 12/25/2004 1:21:47 AM ET 2004-12-25T06:21:47

A speeding bus packed with passengers fell into a deep ravine in eastern Pakistan early Saturday, killing 18 people and injuring 39, police and hospital officials said.

The accident occurred near Jehlum, a small city about 60 miles southeast of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, said Mohammed Aslam, a police officer. He had no other details.

Pakistan’s private Geo television reported that the driver lost control of the bus as it drove around a sharp corner on the main highway.

Mohamood Ahmed, a doctor at the Government Deena hospital, said 18 people died and 39 were injured.

Fatal road accidents are common in Pakistan, where many roads are poorly maintained, and drivers often are not properly trained and frequently disregard rules.

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