Bus carrying high school students and their parents in West Java's Sumedang district plunges into ravine, killing 27 people and injuring 39 others, officials say.

In this photo released by National Search and Rescue Agency, rescuers search for survivors and victims inside the wreckage of a bus in Sumedang, West Java, on  March 11, 2021.
In this photo released by National Search and Rescue Agency, rescuers search for survivors and victims inside the wreckage of a bus in Sumedang, West Java, on March 11, 2021. (AP)

A tourist bus has plunged into a ravine on Indonesia's main island of Java after its brakes apparently malfunctioned, killing at least 27 people and injuring 39 others.

The bus was carrying a group of Islamic junior high school students and their parents from the West Java province town of Subang to a pilgrimage site in the province's Tasikmalaya district when the accident happened late on Wednesday on a winding road, said local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto.

He said the bus plunged into the 20-metre-deep ravine after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with a number of sharp declines in Sumedang district.

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Search still under way for survivor 

Police were still investigating the cause of the accident, but survivors told authorities that the vehicle's brakes apparently malfunctioned, Robbyanto said.

Bandung search and rescue agency chief Deden Ridwansah said the bodies and injured people were taken to a hospital and a nearby health clinic. He said rescuers are still searching for another person trapped inside the overturned bus.

Thirteen of the injured were treated for serious injuries, Ridwansah said.

The driver was among those killed.

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Low safety standards 

Television video showed police and rescuers from the National Search and Rescue Agency evacuating injured victims and carrying the dead to ambulances. 

Grieving relatives waited for information about their loved ones at Sumedang's general hospital.

Road accidents are common in Indonesia because of poor safety standards and infrastructure.

In December 2019, 35 people were killed when a passenger bus fell into a 80-metre-deep ravine and crashed into a fast-flowing river on Sumatra island. 

In early 2018, 27 people killed after a packed tourist bus plunged from a hill in West Java's hilly area.

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Source: AP