Out-of-control truck kills 15 on Indian roadside

By: AFP
Published: 07:05 PM, 19 Jan, 2021
Out-of-control truck kills 15 on Indian roadside
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An out-of-control dumper truck crushed fifteen people to death as they slept by the roadside early Tuesday in western India, authorities said.

The dead included a baby girl, eight women and six men, said police official Usha Rada in the Surat district of Gujarat state. Six others were injured.

The truck collided with a tractor carrying sugarcane just after midnight at a crossroads.

"The dumper driver... lost control of the vehicle and went off the road, crushing labourers sleeping on the roadside," deputy police superintendent C M Jadeja said.

Police said that the drivers of both the dumper truck and the tractor have been arrested.

High-speed vehicles jostling with motorbikes, pedestrians and cyclists combine with poor infrastructure and poorly maintained vehicles to make India's roads treacherous.

In 2019 more than 150,000 people died -- 410 every day or 17 an hour -- in almost half a million accidents, according to the government.

On Monday, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Road Safety Month, saying that the government aimed to halve road deaths and accidents by 2025.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is from Gujarat, announced that the government would give 200,000 rupees ($2,735) to the families of each of the victims of the "tragic" accident.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.