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10 dead as US prison bus hits train

At least 10 people were killed when a bus carrying state prisoners skidded off an icy highway overpass in Texas, slid down an embankment and collided with a passing train, a county sheriff has said.

The overpass on Interstate 20 was slick with ice when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus left the roadway just west of Odessa, according to Ector County sheriff Mark Donaldson.

The bus was carrying 12 prisoners and three corrections officers and was taking the inmates to a prison in El Paso, justice department spokesman Jason Clark said.

The Union Pacific train was carrying freight and came to a stop shortly after being struck. Two employees on the train were not injured.

Mr Donaldson said five injured people were taken to hospital. A spokeswoman for Medical Centre Hospital in Odessa did not have information on the severity of those injuries.

Eight prisoners and two corrections officers were killed, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a statement.

The white bus came to rest on its side, crumpled with heavy damage to its top and undercarriage.

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