26 dead in India after farm vehicle packed with people falls in pond
- Most of the victims were women and children, officials said, and most died by drowning
- India has some of the highest road death rates in the world, with hundreds of thousands of people killed and injured annually
A farm tractor pulling a wagon loaded with people overturned and fell into a pond in northern India, killing 26 people, most of them women and children, officials said Sunday.
The wagon was carrying around 40 people returning from a ceremony at a nearby local Hindu temple Saturday night, said police Superintendent Tej Swaroop Singh. He said most of the deaths were due to drowning.
At least 10 people were injured in the accident in Kanpur city’s Ghatampur area, about 100km (60 miles) southwest of Uttar Pradesh state’s capital, Lucknow. The injured have been admitted to a hospital.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his Saturday: “Distressed by the tractor-trolley mishap in Kanpur. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. Prayers with the injured.”
It is the second incident in the last three days when a tractor carrying people overturned, killing at least 12 people.
Uttar Pradesh’s top elected official Yogi Adityanath discouraged the use of farm tractors for passenger transport.
“A tractor-trolley should be used for agricultural work and to transfer goods, not to ferry people,” he said in a statement.
India has some of the highest road death rates in the world, with hundreds of thousands of people killed and injured annually. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles.