At least seven pilgrims, all women, were killed and six others sustained injuries when the autorickshaw in which they were travelling collided head-on with a sand-laden truck in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh Saturday, said police.
The accident took place when the speedy truck coming from the opposite side rammed into the autorickshaw on Ravulapalem-Amalapuram highway near Modekurru in the state's East Godavari district, according to a senior police official.
The impact of the collision was such that some of the passengers were thrown out of the vehicle and got crushed under the truck's wheels.
"While seven women died on the spot, those injured have been admitted to a local hospital where their condition is serious," he said.
All of them were on their way to famous Lord Venkateshwara Swamy temple at Vadapalli from Allavaram village when the accident occurred.
Eye-witnesses told cops that the driver of the truck was speeding and lost control of the vehicle while overtaking another vehicle, leading to the accident, while the auto-rickshaw was also overloaded with passengers.
A probe has been ordered into the incident. "We have arrested the driver of the truck and seized the vehicle. He has been booked for rash and negligent driving," the official said.
India has the highest number of road fatalities in the world. Road accidents are common in India, often due to poor driving or badly maintained roads and vehicles, according to Xinhua news agency.