21 dead as truck en route to Indian wedding crashes

At least 21 revellers were killed en route to a wedding when their truck flew off a bridge, police said Wednesday, the latest horrific crash on India's accident-prone roads.

The truck, carrying more than 40 passengers, smashed through a protective railing in central Madhya Pradesh state late Tuesday and plunged nearly 20 metres to a dry riverbed below.

Police in Sidhi district
said 21 people were injured, most of them critically, in the accident some 560 kilometres (350 miles) from the state capital Bhopal.

"Several teams of police and emergency services were rushed to rescue the injured. Most of the injured were in a critical condition," local police officer Vishal Sharma told AFP.

The immediate cause of the accident was unknown but Sharma said the driver was likely speeding.

India has some of the world's deadliest roads with more than 200,000 fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organization.

Last week, at least 30 people, including 27 children, were killed in northern Himachal Pradesh state when a school bus plunged off a cliff.

The next day, 18 people were killed when a truck packed with labourers overturned on a highway in western India.

Most accidents are blamed on poor roads, badly-maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Commercial drivers are largely unregulated, meaning many work long hours through the night, raising the danger of them falling asleep at the wheel, campaigners say.



AFP


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