At least 18 migrant workers died after a truck crashed into their bus in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Their 1,300km-long (800 miles) journey from Haryana to their home state of Bihar was cut short when the bus broke down in Barabanki district. Some of the workers were still in the bus while others were sleeping next to it when the accident happened in the early hours of Wednesday. Police said that the bus was “overloaded beyond its capacity”.
The labourers, who are from Bihar, were returning from Haryana and Punjab when their bus broke down on the national highway that leads to Bihar. They then slept on the road in front of the bus.
The truck hit the bus from behind, causing the bus to move ahead and crush the labourers. The injured labourers have been taken to a nearby hospital, said senior police officer Satya Narayan Sabat. A rescue operation to recover the bodies stuck under the bus is on, an officer said.
Though the truck driver managed to escape soon after the accident, cops claimed to have seized the vehicle as well as the ill-fated bus. “A probe has been ordered and a manhunt launched to track the truck driver down,” a police officer said.
Road accidents are very common in India, with one taking place every four minutes. These accidents are often blamed on poor roads, rash driving and scant regard for traffic laws.