A bus carrying dozens of pilgrims plunged into a ravine in southwest Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 18 passengers, officials said.

The accident happened before dawn in a remote district in Balochistan province.

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"A bus carrying 59 pilgrims was returning... (after) the conclusion of a religious ceremony at a local shrine when it plunged into a ravine, killing 18 people and wounding 41 others," senior local government official Bashir Bazai told AFP.

Bazai said the driver was speeding and lost control.

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Officials with the local tribal police, who have a checkpost near the scene, and local health officer Sumar Khan also confirmed the crash and casualties.

Pakistan has a poor road safety record due to substandard roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

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The accident came days after more than 60 people died when a high-speed train knifed through carriages of another service that had derailed minutes earlier in Sindh province.