At least 19 people were killed while 16 others, including six army jawans, injured when a truck rammed into two vehicles in Pali district of Rajasthan on Tuesday.
The truck lost its balance on National Highway-14 in Supermpur area near Netra village on Tuesday evening when a car attempted to overtake it, said District Collector Neeraj K Pawan.
"The truck hit a tempo, carrying 25 pilgrims and an army jeep with six jawans. Eleven of them died on the spot while eight others died in the hospital during treatment," he said.
The truck driver fled from the spot.
Sixteen persons were injured in the mishap, of whom four are stated to be in serious condition.
Eleven persons are currently undergoing treatment in Sumerpur hospital while six injured army jawans were rushed to the army hospital in Jodhpur. The army has announced a court of inquiry into the matter.
The accident led to a traffic jam on NH-14 up to 3-4 km and police had to divert the traffic in order to de-congest the road.
"We rushed our ambulances to the spot immediately for instant medical aid to our men, six of whom have been brought to Jodhpur and have initiated a court of inquiry," said Colonel SD Goswami, a defence spokesperson.
The jawans were going from Jodhpur to Udaipur. Most of those who died were traveling in the tempo Trax and were going on a pilgrimage to Khetlaji near Sumperpur.
"All of them belong to Sirohi district," said the DC.
As the information spread, villagers and family members of the dead pilgrims assembled at the spot and stopped the authorities from taking away the bodies, demanding higher compensation.
"We already have announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 20,000 each, but the villagers were demanding a higher compensation," said the district collector, who was on the spot.
The mishap led to a massive traffic jam on National Highway-14, connecting Delhi to Ahmedabad. The police had a tough time diverting the traffic and removing the mangled mass of vehicles.