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A Swiss tourist bus plunged into an Alpine ravine Sunday, killing 12 people and injuring 15, police said.

Fourteen survivors were thrown from the bus when it went out of control, police said. Rescuers descended by rope into the ravine and saved a 15th person from the wreckage, but the other bus occupants were killed.

The bus slammed through a safety barrier and rolled down a steep slope before dropping into the ravine and coming to rest in La Drance d'Entremont, a stream 800 feet below the road, said Renato Kalbermatten, a police spokesman. Why the bus went out of control remained unclear.

It was the worst bus accident in Switzerland since 1982, when 39 people were killed when a train hit a German tour bus.

Snow had been falling around the Great St. Bernard pass -- a main route through the western Alps near the borders of France and Italy -- but the road only was wet when the accident occurred.

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