The toll is heavy. Eighteen workers who slept on the highway after a bus breakdown in northern India died in a collision with a truck, police said on Wednesday. At least 19 other people were injured in the tragedy in Uttar Pradesh state, a local police official told reporters.
Most of the workers returned to their homes in the state of Bihar after the end of their employment contract. The passengers got off the bus after the driveshaft broke and were sleeping next to the vehicle when a truck struck it from behind.
150,000 deaths on the country’s roads each year
Rescuers had to recover some bodies trapped under the double-decker bus. “The district administration and the police have opened an investigation and we are ensuring that the injured receive the best available medical treatment,” said Satya Narayan Sabat, a police official.
India’s vast road network is poorly maintained and known for its dangers. About 150,000 people die each year in road accidents in the country, according to official figures. The main causes of accidents are speeding and not wearing a seat belt or helmet.