BHAVNAGAR: At least 30 members of a wedding party were killed and as many injured when their truck fell from a bridge near a village in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district while trying to overtake a vehicle this morning, the state government said.
Among the injured, eight were reported to be in a critical condition, Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said, adding the deceased included four children and eight women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident, while Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered an inquiry and announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each deceased.
Bhavnagar's in-charge Superintendent of Police I M Sayed said the truck was carrying around 60 people from Anida village, who were going to attend a wedding ceremony in Totam village of Botad district.
The death toll in the accident has gone up to 30, Jadeja informed the state Assembly in Gandhinagar, adding that while 26 people died on the spot, four succumbed to their injuries at a hospital.
Around 60 people were travelling in the truck.
They were going to attend a wedding ceremony in Botad district when the vehicle fell from the bridge on the Bhavnagar-Rajkot highway while overtaking a vehicle, he said.
"The truck fell on a concrete base under the bridge.
Twenty-six people died on the spot while four others died during treatment.
The injured people have been shifted to a hospital in Bhavnagar," Jadeja said.
The accident took place between 7. 30 am and 7. 45 am.
Officials of the district administration, as well as people from nearby villages, rushed there to rescue the victims, Jadeja said, adding officials from nearby police stations also reached the spot and ambulances were called in to shift the injured and the bodies to a hospital in Bhavnagar.
Bhavnagar's in-charge Superintendent of Police said, "The truck fell into a pit when its driver tried to overtake another vehicle."
Prime Minister Modi said the accident was "extremely unfortunate and anguishing".
"My condolences to all those who lost their loved ones due to an accident near Ranghola in Gujarat. The accident was extremely unfortunate and anguishing. May those who have been injured recover at the earliest," he was quoted as saying in a tweet by the prime minister's office.
According to a state government release, the chief minister has announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased from the CM's Relief Fund and ordered an inquiry into the accident.
The chief minister expressed grief over the incident and prayed for the departed souls, it said.