Lucknow, May 18: At least nine pilgrims headed for Punyagiri or the mountain of good deeds, were killed when a speeding mini-truck rammed their group in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district this morning, police said. The driver of the truck fled after the accident.
The deceased were part of a group of 250, who were walking bare foot towards the Maa Purnagiri shrine, which is located close to the Nepal border, when the incident occurred.
The mini-truck coming from Sitarganj and headed to Tanakpur ran over 30 pilgrims near the sales tax office, an official informed news agency IANS. Many of the bodies were strewn in pieces all over the road.
At least 21 others have been admitted to various nearby medical facilities, where condition of five is stated to be critical; reported IANS.
The Army is also aiding in the rescue and relief operations along with the district authorities.
The injured, who sustained minor injuries have been sent to their homes in state roadways buses.
Those who died were identified as Rajkumar, Deendayal, Babu, Kesar Singh, Veer Singh, Sonu, Vishal, Sohan Lal and Ramswaroop. The family members have been informed of the tragedy.
The Maa Purnagiri temple is located on the top of a mountain above 3,000 metres from sea level in Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur.