Police say a truck hit a group of workers who were sleeping under a parked bus on the side of a highway in northern India, killing at least 18 people and injuring 24.
LUCKNOW, India – A truck hit a group of workers sleeping under a parked bus on the side of a highway in northern India, killing at least 18 people and injuring 24, police said on Wednesday.
The accident happened overnight in Barabanki, 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northeast of Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh.
According to authorities, the bus broke down en route to the northern state of Bihar, forcing the driver to park it on the side of the highway.
The majority of the victims, many of whom were workers returning home, were sleeping under the double-decker bus when the truck slammed into it.
“The collision was so bad that 16 people died on the spot, while two others succumbed to their injuries in hospital,” senior police officer Yamuna Prasad said.
Because the bus was packed, many passengers slept on the road as they were told the bus would not be repaired until the morning, Prasad added.
The injured passengers have been hospitalized. Rescue operations are still underway, police said, adding that the driver of the truck fled the scene.
More than 110,000 people are killed in road accidents across India every year, according to police. Most accidents are due to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and outdated vehicles.