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33 killed in Malaysia bus accident

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Aug. 21, 2013: Malaysian emergency services personnel rescue a passenger by a crane after a passenger bus carrying tourists and local residents fell into a ravine near the Genting Highlands, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.AP

A passenger bus plunged into a deep ravine Wednesday while traveling downhill near a Malaysian highland resort, killing 33 people, an official said.

Sixteen people survived the accident, which occurred on a winding slope in central Genting Highlands, a popular destination that houses Malaysia's sole casino, said fire department official Azizan Ismail.

The bus, which fell about 200 feet into the ravine, was carrying mostly Malaysians and several tourists believed to be from the Middle East, Azizan said.

He said one body had been recovered from the bus, with 32 more bodies remaining inside the vehicle.

"All of them are dead, that's the early report," Azizan told reporters. "We've extricated all those who were alive and could be saved."

More than 200 firefighters, police and medical officers used ropes and cranes to reach the bus, which had been heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's main city.

The cause of the accident was not known. The bus driver was among those killed, Azizan said.

Genting Highlands attracts thousands of domestic visitors and foreign tourists from Singapore, China and other countries every week. Serious accidents are rare on the relatively well-maintained roads leading to the area's main resorts.