Authorities said 26 people were killed and 16 seriously injured in a traffic accident Saturday when a tractor towing a trailer full of pilgrims returning from a religious shrine overturned and drowned in a pond.
Senior local official Sudhir Kumar said about 50 people, mostly women and children, were in the trailer when the accident occurred in the northern Uttar Pradesh city of Kanpur on Saturday. “The accident killed 26 people,” Kumar said.
Road accidents in India are frequent and last year claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people, averaging more than 400 per day, according to official statistics, which are probably less than the real numbers. Transportation of passengers in tractor trailers is common, especially in rural areas, where road conditions are often poor, where safety conditions are not respected and traffic rules are not violated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims. Modi expressed sympathy “to all those who have lost loved ones, and I pray for the recovery of the wounded.” Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, stressed that this type of vehicle, which is a tractor pulling a large trailer, should only be used to transport agricultural products and goods, not people. He described the “incident that took place in the Kanpur district” as “tragic”.