CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, July 12 (UPI) -- A truck carrying schoolboys from a trip in Bangladesh went out of control and plunged into a rainwater-filled ditch, killing dozens of them, police said.
The Monday accident, in which at least 43 boys died and another 12 were injured, occurred in Mirsarai district, about 50 miles from the southern port city of Chittagong, the Bangladesh Daily Star reported.
CNN reported the death toll at 44.
Those killed ranged in ages from 10 to 18, the Star said. The victims were returning to Chittagong after watching a soccer match.
The newspaper, quoting police and witnesses, said the driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to give way to another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
One survivor said the truck driver was talking on his cellphone at the time of the accident, and did not heed warnings from the students.
Some local residents alleged the truck was overloaded. The driver left the scene and was being sought Tuesday by police, the report said.
Six divers from the Bangladeshi navy joined other rescuers who helped pull 16 students from the wreckage but four of them died while being taken to a hospital in Chittagong. Several of the others remained in serious condition.
"We've confirmed 44 deaths so far, and the death toll might rise," Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Faiz Ahmed told CNN. Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their deep condolences.