Eighteen pilgrims were killed and 11 injured in a road accident about 6 km from Hardwar, the gateway to the newly carved out Himalayan state of Uttaranchal, on Monday morning.
The tragedy took place when a tractor-trolley carrying 32 persons skidded into a 60-feet deep gorge along the Bijnore-Hardwar highway around 0900 hours (IST).
Three persons escaped unhurt.
Uttaranchal state police chief A K Sharan told rediff.com over telephone from the state capital Dehradun, "The passengers were all pilgrims on their way to Hardwar to take a holy dip in the Ganga on the occasion of Somwati amavasya on Monday night."
The festival, he said, was observed to pay homage to departed family members and relatives.
"At least three million people from different parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal converge on Hardwar on this occasion," he added.
"The injured have been hospitalised and rescue teams were extricating dead bodies from the gorge," Sharan said.
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report