Eighteen people were killed on Sunday when a vehicle in a funeral procession rammed into a truck in West Bengal’s Nadia district, PTI reported, citing a police officer.
Officials said that the mortuary van was on its way to a crematorium in Nabadwip town from North 24 Parganas district’s Bagda city, when the accident happened, reported ANI.
A police officer told PTI that there were six women and a child among the casualties. He said that 12 people died on the spot when the van hit a truck carrying stones on the Hanskhali highway. Six others died on their way to the hospital or during treatment.
Five others were injured in the accident.
The police officer and locals said that the accident happened as the van was speeding despite dense fog in the area.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured persons, his office said. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government will extend all assistance and support to the kin of the victims.
President Ram Nath Kovind, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed grief on the deaths.