Twelve women and a man were killed after the auto-rickshaw carrying them collided with a speeding bus in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh this morning, police said.
The accident happened at around 5:30 am when the women, who were cooks at an ‘anganwadi kendra‘ in Gwalior’s Old Chawni area, were returning home after work, Gwalior collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh said.
While eight women and the auto-rickshaw driver died on the spot, the others succumbed to their injuries in a hospital, district Superintendent of Police Amit Sanghi said.
Passengers traveling in the bus escaped unhurt, a senior official said, adding that the driver of the bus ran away from the spot leaving passengers in the bus stranded. The bus has been seized.
The bus was on its way to Morena from Gwalior when the accident happened.
The collector said the women were supposed to travel in two auto-rickshaws after they finished cooking food at the Anganwadi, but as one of them developed a snag at the last moment, they had to travel in one auto-rickshaw, which met with the accident. “We are investigating the circumstances of the accident and the exact cause,” the official said.
Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar reached the spot soon after the accident.
No injuries were caused to the bus passengers, he said. Those who died were residents of Gole ka Mandir and Jaderua area in Gwalior.
The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) of Gwalior, MPS Chouhan, has been suspended by the state government, an official said.
Expressing grief, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an amount Rs four lakh each to the family members of those who died in the accident.
Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia of the BJP and Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath also expressed condolences.
Those who died have been identified as Rachna Rathore (34), Sarita Rathore (37), Anita (37), Asha Rathore (45), Rajendri (40), Usha Jatav (37) Usha (45), Maya Devi (65), Harbobai (65), Munni Pal (55), Guddi (40), Laksmi (27) and Dharmendra Parihar (35), the auto driver, additional superintendent of police Pankaj Pande said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)