A speeding container truck crushed seven pilgrims to death and injured five others in Ayodhya on Tuesday morning, police said.
The deceased included four women and three men, all residents of Kanpur. The pilgrims had come to participate in the month-long ‘saawan mela’ organised on the banks of Saryu in Ayodhya.
The incident took place at around 3 am when the pilgrims were sleeping on the pavement along Ayodhya-Basti bypass road.
The police control room received information nearly two hours after the incident when some locals spotted the bodies on the pavement. Efforts are on to trace the driver.
The deceased were identified as jeep driver Uma Shanker Dubey, Ram Kishori Mishra, Leela Tiwari, Pannu and his wife Slok Kumari. The identity of a woman could not be ascertained till reports last came in.
Two pilgrims, Amit Pandey and Aniruddh, who were critically injured, were rushed to KGMU’s trauma centre in Lucknow and three others were admitted to a local hospital.
Umesh Bahadur Singh, spokesperson for the inspector general (Lucknow zone), told HT that the truck driver lost control of his vehicle and hit the pavement, where the victims were sleeping, before fleeing toward Lucknow.
Police were trying to identify the truck with the help of CCTV footage, he added.