Dhaka: At least 17 people, including five women, were killed and several others injured on Monday when a bus carrying a group of Muslim pilgrims plunged into a nearly dry river in south-eastern Bangladesh, officials said.
The bus carrying 43 people had started from Gazipur on Saturday to join a Muslim spiritual function at Maizbhandari shrine near the south-eastern port city of Chittagong.
The accident happened in Cox`s Bazar district, 296 kilometers south of the Bangladeshi capital.
"Sixteen of them died instantly and a minor boy succumbed to his wounds as he was being rushed to the hospital," a police official told a news agency.
Five of the dead were women and 18 people were injured in the incident, the Daily Star reported.
The bus fell into a dry part of the Matamuhuri river early morning after breaking the railing of Matamuhuri bridge some 30 feet above the sandy river bed.
The police official said most other passengers were critically wounded as the bus plunged into the river.
Army troops from a nearby military installation joined the rescue campaign.
The police official said the passengers were residents of suburban Gazipur at the outskirts of the capital Dhaka and they had gone to join the Muslim spiritual function.
They planned to visit the beach resort town of Cox`s Bazar during their journey back to home.