Truck in India plunges into gorge, killing 40

By Sunrita Sen

New Delhi (dpa) – The death toll in a road crash in the northern

Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh has risen to 40, police said


   Twenty-one women and seven children were among those killed on

Wednesday when the truck in which they were travelling plunged into a

gorge near Mandi town, about 150 kilometres north-west of state

capital Shimla, an official at the police control room in Mandi said.

   Most of the victims hailed from Sudhyani village and were

returning home after attending a feast at a nearby village when the

truck plunged into the 60-metre gorge, police superintendent Sonal

Agnihotri said.

   Several people were injured and three succumbed to their injuries

on Thursday, Agnihotri said, adding that said one family had lost

eight members in the accident.

   Trucks used for transporting goods are prohibited from carrying

people but are often used to carry passengers to religious and

wedding ceremonies.

   The truck had been fitted with wooden slats to accommodate more

passengers in a second deck, IANS news agency reported.

   Deadly road accidents in India’s highlands are often caused by

overloading, poor roads and reckless driving. 

   About 120,000 people are killed annually in road accidents,

according to government data.