Eighteen pilgrims, including five children and eight women, were killed when an open loading van in which they were travelling collided with a state transport bus near Jhilwada village of Patan district, police said Wednesday. Fifteen others were injured in the head-on collision.
Most of the victims belonged to a minority community from Jhulasan village of Mehsana district and were returning after offering prayers at a dargah in Radhanpur, police said.
The incident took place on the Sami-Jhilwada road when the van was hit by the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) bus coming from the opposite direction.
The injured were taken to the nearest hospital in Sami taluka. Ten of them, who were in a critical condition, were shifted to hospitals in Radhanpur and Patan, police added.