ANAND: Nine persons, including two children and as many women, were killed when their car collided head-on with a goods-laden truck near Indranaj village in Gujarat's Anand district on early Wednesday morning, police said.
The accident took place on a state highway connecting Tarapur to Vataman at around 6 am and all nine, returning home after attending a marriage function in adjoining Maharashtra, died on the spot, the police said.
Six of the victims were members of two families, each including a husband, wife and a child, they said.
The accident took place on the state highway when the car was hit by the loaded truck, said Superintendent of Police of Anand district Ajit Rajiyan.
The bodies of some of the victims were trapped in the mangled remains of the vehicle (a van) and they were taken out after cutting the car, the police said.
The impact of the collision was so strong that the car was dragged for around 15 feet and it got enmeshed into the truck, the police said.
Police took the help of a crane to separate the two vehicles, a Tarapur police station official said.
The bodies were later shifted to a hospital for post-mortem before being handed over to family members, and an FIR was lodged at the Tarapur police station against the truck driver who fled the scene, he said.
An investigation was underway, the police official said.
Expressing grief over the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased persons.
Separately, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh will be paid to the kin of each of the deceased from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil also expressed grief over the accident and conveyed condolences to the families of the victims.
All the victims were from Bhavnagar in Gujarat and returning from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra after attending a marriage function, the police said.
The truck was on its way to south Gujarat from Morbi, they said.
The deceased persons were identified by the police as Sirajbhai Jamalbhai Ajmeri (40), Mumtaz Sirajbhai Ajmeri (35), Raisbhai Sirajbhai Ajmeri (5), Altafbhai Mohammadbhai Ajmeri (38), Anisabanu Altafbhai Ajmeri (32), Muskan Altafbhai (6), Mustufabhai Rahimbhai Daria (28), Rahimbhai Musabhai Syed (60) and Radhavbhai Merabhai Gohel (48).