Eighteen members of a marriage party, including 11 children and four women, drowned Wednesday when the bullock cart in which they were travelling plunged into a swirling stream in Chitradurga district of Karnataka, police said.
"A 24-member marriage party was returning to their native village Venkatapura around 3.30 p.m. after the wedding feast at Rampur on a bullock cart. The tragic mishap occurred when the crowded cart plunged into the Hagariville stream after one of its tyres gave away while crossing the narrow bridge," Chitradurga police inspector M. Ramsubbu told IANS on telephone.
Nearby villagers rushed to the spot near Ramput, about 280 km from here, to rescue the victims. Four people had survived and two were injured.
"The bodies of three men, four women, seven boys and four girls were removed from the stream, which was flooded due to heavy rains over the last couple of days in the region," Ramsubbu said.
A team of district officials and policemen rushed to the spot from Chitradurga, about 80km from Rampur, to provide relief to the survivors.
"We will give compensation to the bereaved families from the chief minister's relief fund," Chitradurga deputy commissioner Aditya Biswas told reporters at Rampur.