2 Indian Weddings Hit by Accidents; 43 Feared Dead

JAIPUR, India (AP) -- Two Indian wedding celebrations were marred by separate accidents that left 43 people feared dead, police said Thursday.

In western India, 24 members of an extended family were killed when the van they were traveling in collided with a truck early Thursday about 80 miles northwest of Jodhpur, city police Superintendent Sanjeev Kumar Narjari said.

In the central city of Pune, a boat ferrying people to a wedding across a lake capsized and sank late Wednesday, killing 10 people and leaving nine more missing and feared dead, police officer Prakash Sonar said Thursday. Nine other people managed to swim to safety.

Police believe severe overcrowding contributed to the accidents and the heavy death toll.

In Jodhpur, an 8-year-old girl was the only survivor in the van, Narjari said, adding that it was not immediately clear what happened to the driver of the truck, who may have fled.

The cause of the crash was unclear because it occurred in a remote area and there were no witnesses, he said.

The CNN-IBN news channel quoted police as saying that seven of the victims died while being transported to the nearest hospital, which was more than 60 miles away.

In Pune, police and local residents were searching the lake for the missing people, but hopes of finding more survivors were slim, Sonar said.

Deadly road and boat accidents are common in India and are frequently caused by overcrowding, aging equipment and reckless driving.

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