JAKARTA, INDONESIA -- A tourist bus plunged into a ravine on Indonesia's main island of Java after its brakes apparently malfunctioned, killing at least 27 people and injuring 39 others, police and rescuers said Thursday.

The bus was carrying a group of Islamic junior high school students, teachers and parents from the West Java province town of Subang when the accident happened late Wednesday on a winding road, said local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto.

He said the bus was on its way back to Subang from a pilgrimage site in the province's Tasikmalaya district when it plunged into the 20-metre (65-foot) -deep ravine after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with a number of sharp declines in Sumedang district.

Police were still investigating the cause of the accident, but survivors told authorities that the vehicle's brakes apparently malfunctioned, Robbyanto said.

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