At least 29 people,including eight women and two children,were killed and 31 injured when their mini-truck was rammed by a truck on NH 65 in Haryanas Bhiwani district on Monday. They were returning home from a pilgrimage in Rajasthan.
Doctors said 20 of the 31 injured are critical. The injured are in hospitals in Hisar and in PGIMS at Rohtak.
The mishap took place around 7.30 am near Sainiwas in the Siwani area of Bhiwani. Police said brakes of the truck failed as it tried to overtake a vehicle and collided with the mini-truck coming from the other end. The impact of the crash sent the mini-truck off the road.
Twenty one people died on the spot and eight succumbed on way to hospital.
The victims,who were from Kalayat in Kaithal district,had hired the mini-truck for a visit to the Ghugha Mari temple in Amarpura,Rajasthan. They had set out for Amarpura on Saturday.
A platform of wooden planks had been laid over the mini-truck floor to accommodate 60 people. The crash brought down the platform,crushing those below.
It was a horrible accident. When I reached the spot and looked inside,I saw broken,twisted limbs. We laid out the dead on the sand and put the injured in our cars, said Suresh Kumar,a Sainiwas farmer who rushed to the site.
Bodies were taken to the Bhiwani civil hospital while the remaining dead and injured were taken to the Hisar civil hospital. We received five bodies. Twenty of the injured are in critical condition, said Dr G S Grewal,Chief Medical Officer,Hisar Civil Hospital.
The truck that rammed the mini-truck was carrying a consignment of plywood. Its owner Deepak Singh of Yamunanagar said the driver,Sonu,was among the injured.
The truck was carrying plywood and left Yamunanagar at 11 pm on Sunday. It was to reach Mumbai on August 2. There was nothing wrong with it when it set out. It must have picked up something on the way, Singh said.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Leader of Opposition Om Prakash Chautala have expressed grief and sorrow over the heavy loss of life in the road mishap. In view of the accident,Hooda cancelled his programmes at Kurukshetra and rushed to Hisar,officials said.