At least eight persons were killed and 28 injured in a collision between a bus and a truck on a national highway stretch in Karnataka’s Hubballi district in the early hours of Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported.
The accident took place between 12.30 am and 1 am on Tuesday on the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway, Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner Labhu Ram told the Hindustan Times. The injured persons are not in a critical condition and are undergoing treatment at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Hubballi, he added.
Of the eight deceased, the drivers of both vehicles and four others died on the spot. Two passengers died after being admitted to the hospital. The Hubballi North Traffic police are investigating the accident.
Police officials suspected that the accident took place when the bus driver was trying to overtake a tractor and hit the truck coming from the opposite direction, the Hindustan Times reported. Witnesses said that the vehicles were speeding. An autopsy is underway to conclude whether the drivers were intoxicated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief on the accident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims. The injured persons will receive a compensation of Rs 50,000 each, his office said in a tweet.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy demanded government action to prevent such incidents.
“There are frequent tragedies in the area of the Kolhapur-Hubballi highway where the accident occurred, which people say is the ‘highway of death’,” he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.
On May 21, eight locals, including three children died in an accident near Dharwad, The News Minute reported. Twenty persons from Benkankatti village were returning from a family gathering at Mansur village in Dharwad district when the minivan they were travelling in lost control and collided with a tree.