Eight persons, including seven children, were killed on Sunday night after a truck rammed into a religious procession in Bihar’s Vaishali district, PTI reported.

Vaishali Superintendent of Police Manish Kumar said that seven persons were critically injured in the accident.

“The driver was rescued from the mangled vehicle and arrested for negligent and rash driving,” Kumar told PTI. “He is undergoing treatment in PMCH [Patna Medical College and Hospital] and his condition is stable.”

The deceased were identified as Varsha (8), Suruchi (12), Anuskha (8), Shivani (8), Khushi (10), Chandan Kumar (20), Komal Kumari (10) and Satish Kumar (17).

After the incident, residents protested against the police for not reaching the spot on time, according to PTI.

“Initially villagers refused to let the police take the bodies for post-mortem examination,” an unidentified police officer said. “They finally agreed after senior officials of the district administration and police convinced them and distributed Rs 20,000 each to the next of kin of the deceased for the last rites.”

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief about the accident and directed the district administration to ensure proper treatment of those injured. He also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the mishap.

President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the incident.

“An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased,” Modi said in a tweet. “The injured would be given Rs 50,000.”