At least 18 people, including six women and five children, were killed at around 2am on Monday in a head-on collision between a canter and a truck near Moga town.
The victims, who were devotees from Daulatpura village in Moga district, were returning from a shrine in Nanaksar Gurdwara near Jagraon town.
The accident took place on the Moga-Ferozepur national highway near Dagru village railway crossing, about 12 km from Moga. Police said 14 people were killed on the spot while the remaining died in a hospital in Moga. As many as eleven victims belong to one family.
"All the occupants travelling in the canter were killed in the accident," a police official at the site said. The truck driver fled the spot, leaving his vehicle behind.
Moga superintendent of police, Satpal Singh Bhangu said that all deceased were from Daulatpura village in district Moga.
Police said the speeding truck, which was trying to overtake another vehicle, collided head-on with the canter. "We have booked the truck driver, identified as Sukhwinder Singh of Kotkaror village in district Ferozepur," said SP.
Moga deputy commissioner, Arshdeep Singh Thind along with senior civil and police officials were at the accident site.