A bus plunged nearly 30 feet into a riverbed in eastern India early Friday, killing at least 20 people and injuring another 12, an official said.

The accident occurred on a highway near Patna, the capital of Bihar state, said B.K. Singh, a state administrator.

The driver, who was among the dead, lost control of the vehicle as he swerved to avoid hitting a motorbike, Singh told The Associated Press.

"We have recovered 18 bodies," Singh said, adding that two of the 14 injured later died in a hospital.

Three people escaped unhurt, he said.

Road accidents caused by reckless driving, aging vehicles and bad roads are common in India.