Lucknow: At least 18 people were killed and 25 injured after a speeding truck rammed into an overcrowded double-decker bus in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh early on Wednesday, a local official said.
The incident occurred on a highway near Barabanki in central Uttar Pradesh at around 12:45am, Barabanki Superintendent of Police (SP) Yamuna Prasad said.
“The bus was overloaded and had about 150 passengers in it. It was hit by a truck on the highway,” Prasad said.
At least 25 people were injured and sent to the state capital of Lucknow for treatment, he said.
Media reports said a number of passengers were labourers and that the bus had broken down on the highway before the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences over the deaths on Twitter.
The accident took place on the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway under Kotwali Ramsanehighat area. The private bus was carrying over 130 passengers to Bihar from Ludhiana in Punjab, they said.
The axle of the bus broke and it was parked on the road when a speeding truck coming from behind hit it, the police said.
Some passengers were standing or resting outside the bus and others were sitting inside while waiting for the axle to be repaired when the incident took place, they said.
The victims, mostly labourers from Bihar, were returning home after sowing paddy in Punjab and Haryana, the police said.
Police rushed to the spot after receiving information about the accident and the rescue operation was carried out with the help of local residents. The injured were rushed to a local hospital and from there those with serious injuries were referred to the trauma centre in Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow Zone, S N Sabat said.
It was raining heavily when the accident took place and this posed some problems in the rescue operation, he said.
In Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the accident and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased.
The CM has also expressed his condolences and directed the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of Barabanki to provide the best medical care to the injured and make proper arrangements for taking other passengers of the bus to their destinations, Awasthi said.
Narendra Modi has also announced an ex gratia of Rs200,000 each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the families of the deceased. The injured will be given Rs50,000 each.
In a tweet, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) president Mayawati also expressed grief over the deaths in the road accident.
- with inputs from PTI