Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:18AM
Indian bystanders gather near the scene of a bus crash in Etah in the state of Uttar Pradesh, January 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Indian bystanders gather near the scene of a bus crash in Etah in the state of Uttar Pradesh, January 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

At least 24 children have lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries in a school bus accident in northern India.

Police said the incident occurred in the northern Indian province of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday when a truck loaded with sand collided head-on with the school bus. The driver of the bus also died in the crash.

Reports said the school was open even after the district magistrate declared three days of holiday due to the extreme weather conditions in the region.

“The school was open against the order of district admin to close schools due to cold. More than two dozen children have died,” said Javeed Ahmed, the province’s top police official.

Police said poor visibility because of dense fog at the time of the crash could have been the cause of the accident.

Road accidents are common in India. Badly-maintained vehicles, poor road construction, a lack of proper driving skills, and routine disregard for traffic laws are among the causes. India has the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people losing their lives in accidents annually.

Nearly 150,000 people were killed in road accidents last year, around 400 a day.