Ten pilgrims, including five women, who were sleeping by the roadside were run over by a stationary bus after it was hit by a container truck in Aurangabad on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. Over a dozen people were injured in the accident.
Police said the accident took place around 2 am when 40 passengers who were returning to Rohtas from Deogarh, where they went to offer prayers to Lord Shiva during the holy month of Sawan, had taken a break and had been sleeping on the roadside in front of their parked bus.
A container truck hit the stationary bus with force from the back and passengers were trapped under the wheels of the bus. Sadar Hospital Auarangabad confirmed 10 deaths. Fifteen others were injured in the accident. Five of them are said to be serious.
All the passengers, belonging to Akodi Gola in Rohtas had gone to Deoghar on July 23 as part of an annual trip, funded by Hindu Sewa Samiti. Dehri Independent MLA Jyoti Rashmi, who was instrumental in sending the pilgrims to Deoghar, fought with the local police over the delayed response of the administration to take the injured to the hospital.
Police said the container truck driver probably did not anticipate the bus parked by side of NH-2. Aurangabad DM N C Jha said the state had announced Rs 2.5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of each victim and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.
Meanwhile, 10 people from the convoy of Chhattisgarh home minister Ramsevak Paikra suffered minor injuries after some vehicles of the convoy collided with one another, at Muffasil Monday evening. The minister was going to Deogarh with his family. Aurangabad. SP Upendra Sharma said no passenger suffered serious injuries.