At least 31 people were killed and 27 injured in two separate road accident incidents in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
In the first incident, at least 26 people were killed and several critically injured when a tractor-trolley overturned and fell into a pond near a village in Kanpur. The tractor-trolley, carrying about 50 people, was on its way to Ghatampur after the passengers attended a “mundan” ceremony at the Chandrika Devi temple in Fatehpur.
The incident took place near Bhadeuna village in the evening, under the police jurisdiction limits of Saar police station.
“A total of 26 people have lost their lives and others are injured. The pilgrims were returning from Chandika Devi temple in Fatehpura. The injured people have been sent to Hallet hospital. Investigation is underway. Rescue work has been completed,” Kanpur District Magistrate (DM) Vishak G Iyer was quoted as saying by ANI on Saturday.
Officials said that the injured were rushed to a community health centre (CHC) in Bheetergaon in ambulances arranged by police. More than a dozen were declared dead at the hospital.
Ayyar said investigation is underway to ascertain the reason behind the accident.
In another accident, at least five people were killed and seven others injured after a speeding truck rammed into a loader tempo near Ahirwan flyover in Kanpur.
“An accident took place last night at the Ahirwan flyover where 5 people lost their lives and 7 are severely injured. The injured people have been shifted to Hallet hospital for further treatment,” the Kanpur DM was quoted saying by ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have expressed grief over the incident.
“Distressed by the tractor-trolley mishap in Kanpur. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. Prayers with the injured. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected,” Modi said in a tweet.
The PM also announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh from Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of each of the deceased, and the injured would be given Rs 50,000.
UP CM Adityanath also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured, a government spokesperson said, PTI reported.
The CM had asked senior ministers Rakesh Sachan and Ajit Pal to go to the accident site and oversee the relief-and-rescue measures.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Sachan told ANI, “CM Yogi Adityanath has also announced a relief measure with compensation of Rs 4 lakh each ex-gratia. The poor will get some land as well as pucca houses.”
In another tweet, Adityanath warned people against using tractors as a transport vehicle, adding it must only be used for freight and agricultural works, while focusing on the preciousness of life.
Expressing her condolences to the bereaved families, President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday said she was deeply anguished to hear about the loss of lives in the Kanpur tractor-trolley accident.
“Deeply anguished by the news of the death of many people in a road accident in Kanpur. My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in this accident. I wish the injured people a speedy recovery,” Murmu tweeted in Hindi.
In another incident from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, three people, including an Army captain, were seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling rammed into a stationary truck on Saturday, police said. The car was going from Punjab to Delhi.
Superintendent of Police (rural) Suraj Rai told PTI that the accident occurred at state highway 59 near Nihalkhedi village under the limits of the Deoband police station area.
The injured — Army Captain Rohan Singh, jawan Satyendra and driver Shyamsundar — were taken to a local government hospital, the SP said. They were later referred to be taken to the district hospital.
The truck driver fled from the spot, and efforts were on to nab him, police said.