Five wrestlers and a driver were killed in a road accident in Maharashtra’s Sangli district in the early hours of Saturday. The accident occurred at 1 am on Saturday after an SUV in which the wrestlers were travelling in rammed into a tractor carrying sugarcane, according to reports.

The wrestlers belonged to Kranti Kushti Sankul institution, which has been dominating the state-level tournaments in recent years, and were expected to make the grade for the national championship soon. They were returning from a dangal in Pune’s Satara district. “It is very sad and shocking, for us,” said Sharad Lad, the institution’s secretary was quoted as saying by IANS.

The mishap occurred on the Kadegaon-Sangli road, when the wrestlers were returning from Aundh village after participating in the wrestling competition there. They were heading to Kundal in Sangli, a senior police official was quoted as saying by PTI. The injured are being treated at a state-run hospital in Sangli, the officer said.

A case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicles Act was registered at the Chinchni-Vangi police station, he said, adding efforts were on to nab the tractor driver who fled from the accident spot.

Earlier this week, five national-level powerlifters had died in the trauma centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi after a road accident on the Delhi-Panipat highway.