Death toll in Indian road crash rises to 40
The death toll in a road crash in the northern Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh has risen to 40, police said Thursday.
Twenty-one women and seven children were among those killed on Wednesday when the truck in which they were travelling plunged into a gorge near Mandi town, about 150 kilometres north-west of state capital Shimla, an official at the police control room in Mandi said, DPA reported.
Most of the victims hailed from Sudhyani village and were returning home after attending a feast at a nearby village when the truck plunged into the 60-metre gorge, police superintendent Sonal Agnihotri said.
Several people were injured and three succumbed to their injuries on Thursday, Agnihotri said, adding that said one family had lost eight members in the accident.
Trucks used for transporting goods are prohibited from carrying people but are often used to carry passengers to religious and wedding ceremonies.
The truck had been fitted with wooden slats to accommodate more passengers in a second deck, IANS news agency reported.
Deadly road accidents in India's highlands are often caused by overloading, poor roads and reckless driving.
About 120,000 people are killed annually in road accidents, according to government data.