Truck kills 18 pilgrims in India

2011-06-09 08:56

New Delhi – A speeding truck ran over and killed at least 18 Muslim pilgrims today in India’s western state of Gujarat, police said.

Sixteen people died at the scene and the truck driver fled, local police officer Bhikhu Singh said by phone. Nine of the victims were women, he said.

Seven pilgrims were injured in the accident, which took place in Bagodram, an area more than 50 kilometres south-west of Ahmedabad.

The pilgrims were on the way to a shrine and had stopped for the night at the side of a highway. “The pilgrims were travelling on foot, and it seems that the truck driver lost control of the vehicle,” Singh said.

The injured were treated at a local hospital.

India has one of the highest rates for traffic fatalities in the world. Government data showed about 120 000 people are killed in road crashes each year.

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