11 killed, 19 injured as speeding truck rams into pilgrims in Uttarakhand
The pilgrims from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh were on their way to the hilltop temple, well known in the region, when they were knocked down by a dumper truck coming from behindindia Updated: May 18, 2018 18:35 IST
Elevenpeople, many of them in their teens, were killed and 19 injured in Champawatdistrict on Friday when a speeding truck rammed into a group of pilgrims walking to the Purnagiri temple.
The pilgrims from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh were on their way to the hilltop temple, well known in the region, when they were knocked down by a dumper truck coming from behind.
The accident took place at 5 am at Bichai, Tanakpur Sub Divisional Magistrate Anil Chanyal said.
Nine pilgrims were killedon the spot and twoothers succumbed to their injuries while being taken to hospital, the district disaster management office in Champawat said.
The group was following the `dolas’ (palanquins) of Purnagiri Devi, placed on two tractors, when the accident happened, the Tanakpur SDM said.
The devotees, still about 30 km from the temple, were travelling on foot as a mark of gratitude towards the deity for fulfilling their wishes, he said.
The seriouslyinjured pilgrims were admitted at a hospital in Khatima and the others taken to Tanakpur,he said.
The dead included Vir Singh (18), Sonu (8),Vishal (17), Ram kumar (16), Deendayal (35), Babu (12), Kesher Singh (16), Ramswaroop (40), Sohan (40) and Kamal (19).
They were all fromBaheri in Bareilly district, the SDM said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives and asked Champawat District Magistrate Ahmad Iqbal to ensure proper treatment to the injured.
The dumper truck driver fled after the accident. The police have launched a search for him.