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Bus carrying Chilean army band crashes, kills 19

The victims include 17 army members and two civilians, including the bus driver.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 05:50 IST

A bus carrying members of a Chilean military band skidded off a precipice in the rain and fell into a river on Sunday, killing 19 people and injuring nine, the army reported.

The victims included 17 army members and two civilians, including the bus driver, the army said in a communique.

The bus carrying the Chacabuco regiment band plunged into the Tucapel river in central Chile, according to police commander Juan Marcos Gonzalez and radio reports.

The military personnel were heading to Canete, 640 kilometers south of the capital Santiago, to perform at a ceremony honoring the city's founding.

The bus was traveling on a curved, rain-slicked stretch of road just north of Canete, by the Quelen Quelen bridge, when it went off a 15-meter-high precipice, Interior Minister Belisario Velasco said.

The bus was completely submerged in the river and rescue efforts were hampered by slippery rocks on the banks of the river, Gonzalez said.

The band members were traveling from Concepcion, 515 kilometerssouth of Santiago.

First Published: Nov 13, 2006 05:50 IST