An Egyptian security official says a bus fell off a ferry into the Nile River and that at least 17 people drowned in the accident.

The official says the minibus was packed with 32 passengers, mostly mourners heading to a funeral across the river, when the accident took place early Friday in the southern province of Bani Suief.

He says the bus slid off the ferry and sank because the emergency brake was not on.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

He says rescue workers pulled 10 survivors out while five people are still missing.

Egypt has frequent transportation accidents, mainly because of poor maintenance and the lack of regulations.

A ferry sinking in 2006 killed more than 1,000 people.

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