Seven people were crushed to death when a private bus ran over them in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district on Friday morning, reported IANS. The driver of the bus is absconding, said the police.

The accident took place when the victims – four women and three children – were sleeping on a pavement near Ganga ghat in Bulandshar’s Narora town.

The victims were on a pilgrimage, and were returning from Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Hindustan Times. They were part of a group of 56 people, who began their journey from Mohanpura in Uttar Pradesh.

The victims reportedly got off the bus to sleep on the pavement when the driver stopped for a break around 2.50 am. The accident took place around 4 am. All bodies have been sent for post mortem.

Senior Superintendent of Police Satosh Kumar Singh said the victims were residents of Chandpa area in Hathras district. He said Circle Officer Vikram Singh and Sub-Divisional Magistrate Sanjay Kymar from Dibai town reached the location after receiving information, according to PTI.

Police also calmed local residents gathered to protest against the accident, Singh said. Chief Minister Adityanath announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of each victim. He also called for strict punishment for those responsible.

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