At least 20 persons were killed and 40 others injured today when a tractor they were travelling in turned turtle at a hilly road and fell into a gorge in Odisha's Rayagada district.
The tragic accident occurred at Upara Anchalabadi Ghati in the district, about 550 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, in the evening when the tractor lost control after one its front wheels broke. At least 17 died on the spot.
Police said the carrier of the tractor was overloaded with more than 60 persons, including many women, who were returning to their village after attending a marriage reception party in another village.
The injured, several with serious condition, were rushed to Rayagada district headquarter hospital.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the loss of lives and directed the district administration to provide all medical help to the injured from the chief minister's relief fund.
"The chief minister has asked the administration to shift the critically injured to hospitals in Vishakhapatnam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in case of emergency," a communication from the chief minister's office said.
Rayagada collector SS Padhi said: "We are shifting three of the injured to a hospital in Vishakapatnam."