12 devotees dead as truck overturns on their bus in UP’s Shahjahanpur

12 devotees dead as truck overturns on their bus in UP's Shahjahanpur
12 devotees dead as truck overturns on their bus in UP's Shahjahanpur

SHAHJAHANPUR (UP), May 26 : Twelve people, including six women and three children, headed to the Purnagiri temple in Uttarakhand were killed when a gravel-loaded dumper truck overturned on their bus in this district, police said Sunday.

Nine other pilgrims were seriously injured in the Saturday night incident and have been admitted to the Government Medical College here, a senior official said.

Purnagiri temple in Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur is about 180 kms from Shahjahnapur.

Shahjahanpur Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar Meena told PTI that the accident took place at Hajiyapur village under the Khutar police station area when the privately owned bus carrying 59 passengers from Sitapur had halted at a roadside eatery on its way to the temple.

While some of the devotees had alighted for dinner, others waited inside the bus.

Suddenly, the dumper truck carrying gravel lost control, overturned and fell onto their bus, unloading the content on the waiting pilgrims, the SP said.

According to Meena, 10 passengers identified as Sudhanshu (7), Aditya (8), Ajit (15), Rohini (20), Pramod (30), Seema (30), Suman Devi (36), Ramgopal (48), Shiv Shankar (48), and Chutki (50) died on the spot, while Sonavati (45) and Bindra (50) succumbed during treatment.

Local police and villagers rescued some of the passengers from inside the bus.

Police said that the victims — all residents of Kamlapur in Sitapur district, had hired the bus and started their journey at about 6 pm on Saturday. The incident took place at around 11 pm, they said.

According to eyewitnesses, there was no way left from where victims could be taken outside.

The rescue and relief work was done using mobile phone torches and vehicle lights, Ghanshyam Gupta, an eyewitness, said.

The SP and District Magistrate Umesh Pratap Singh had reached the spot after they were informed about the incident. The driver of the dumper fled from the spot and police are looking for him.

According to police, when SP Meena entered the bus, he heard the faint sound of someone yelling and when he removed the gravel, he saw a 12-year-old child, Yashraj,  who could be rescued after two hours of struggle.

Chief Medical Superintendent at the Government Medical College, Nepal Singh, said that postmortem of the bodies have been done and those injured are being given the best possible treatment.

Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday grieved the loss of lives in the road accident and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.

“The news of the death of several people in a road accident in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, is very sad. I express my condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” the president said in a post in Hindi on X.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed condolences to the families of the deceased and directed the district administration to ensure the injured are provided proper treatment. (PTI)