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Tibet tour bus crashes into SUV, pickup, plummets off highway into valley, killing 44 people

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, suitcases of tour bus passengers are piled up as rescuers work near an overturned bus after it fell off a 10-meter (30-foot) cliff in Nyemo County, southwest China's mountainous region of Tibet Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Xinhua reported the bus carrying about 40 people careened after it crashed in a pileup involving a sports utility vehicle and a pickup truck on a state road. Casualty details were not immediately known. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Chogo) NO SALES

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In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, suitcases of tour bus passengers are piled up as rescuers work near an overturned bus after it fell off a 10-meter (30-foot) cliff in Nyemo County, southwest China's mountainous region of Tibet Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Xinhua reported the bus carrying about 40 people careened after it crashed in a pileup involving a sports utility vehicle and a pickup truck on a state road. Casualty details were not immediately known. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Chogo) NO SALES

BEIJING, China - A tour bus on a highway in Tibet fell off a 10-meter (30-foot) cliff after crashing into an SUV and a pickup, killing 44 people and injuring 11 others, China's state media reported Sunday.

The bus was carrying 50 people when it careened in mountainous southern Tibet on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Most of the passengers were from four Chinese provinces. There were four people in the SUV and a truck driver, but their condition was unclear.

Police detained the managers of a travel agency and tour company connected with the bus trip, Xinhua said.

It said that the bodies and survivors were pulled out of the bus and the injured rushed to hospitals in the regional capital of Lhasa. Photos released by the news agency showed the vehicle lying upside down.

Tourism has been on the rise in the scenic Tibetan Plateau, where mountain roads are often treacherous and can be particularly dangerous in the summer rainy season.

The road where Saturday's crash occurred had a massive landslide earlier in the week, covering a 280-meter (yard) stretch in debris, according to China's weather services.

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