Tragedy struck a group of pilgrims on their way to Ajmer Dargah as 14 of them, including eight women and a child, were killed and four injured in a road mishap in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh early on Sunday, police said.
The accident occurred when a mini-bus in which the victims, all relatives and hailing from Madanapalle in Chittoor district of the state, were travelling collided with a lorry at Madapuram around 4 AM, Kurnool District Superintendent of Police K.Fakirappa said.
The passengers were on their way to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradeh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy were among those who expressed sorrow over the loss of lives.
Reddy announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh to the injured.
Preliminary investigation suggested the driver apparently lost control and the bus first crashed into the road median, rolled to the other side and hit the lorry, the SP told PTI.
Only four children survived the crash and all had been admitted to a hospital where the condition of one of them was stated to be critical, he said.
"The accident might have been be due to over speeding of the mini bus or its driver might have been drowsy. Fourteen people died on the spot and another four (injured) were shifted to hospital. One of the children is said to be in a critical condition," the Police official added.
Kurnool Collector G Veerapandiansaid the administration would also examine if there was any defect in the vehicle.
A tweet posted on PMO India handle said: "The road accident in Andhra Pradeshs Kurnool district is saddening. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. I hope that the injured recover at the earliest: PM."
Expressing sorrow over the loss of lives, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to provide necessary medical help to the injured as he wished them a speedy recovery.
He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families, an official release said.
Veldurthi police station sub-inspector Peddaiah Naidu said they received information about the accident from a local person and the personnel immediately rushed to the spot.
"Only four children survived and all of them are being treated in hospital," he said.
4 killed, 6 injured in van-truck collision in Uttar Pradesh
Four persons were killed and six others injured in a collision between a van and a truck here, police said on Sunday.
The accident took place Saturday night near Baghidarh on the Gorakhpur-Azamgarh, they said.
The van was carrying labourers from Gorakhpur to Varanasi, police said.
Three persons died on the spot, while the fourth succumbed to injuries at the district hospital, Circle officer, Sagri, Ajay Yadav said.
The six injured have been referred to Varanasi for treatment, he added.
The deceased included truck driver Vipin Chauhan, a resident of Deoria, and three labourers. While the two labourers have been identified as Sukhu and Ramesh, the identity of the third is yet to be ascertained, Yadav said.
The victims were in the age group of 40-45 years, police said.