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20 dead in Sri Lanka road mishap

Fifty-eight others were injured when a passenger bus collided with a beer delivery truck and burst into flames.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2007 11:59 IST

A passenger bus collided with a beer delivery truck and burst into flames on Tuesday in southern Sri Lanka, killing at least 20 people and injuring 58, a police official said.

The state-run bus was travelling from the southern city of Galle to the capital, Colombo, when it collided with the truck, which was traveling in the opposite direction, near the town of Induruwa, local police chief Jayantha Gamage said.

Among the dead were eight women and one 5-year-old child, Gamage said. A total of 58 people were injured, and 22 of them needed hospitalisation, he said.

It was not immediately clear if all the casualties were aboard the bus, or whether the drivers of the two vehicles were among the victims, Gamage said.

"The collision started a fire and most of the bodies are charred beyond recognition," Gamage said.

Induruwa is about 60 kilometres south of Colombo. Laborers were working to clear the road so that a regional car rally could pass. The rally is sponsored by the bloc of eight South Asian nations.

First Published: Apr 10, 2007 11:11 IST