A speeding dumper ran over 11 pilgrims, who were on their way to Purnagiri temple, in Champawat in Uttarakhand on Friday morning. The accident took place near the Bechai sale tax office, police said.
As many as 19 pilgrims, all from Uttar Pradesh, were injured in the accident.
The Army and the police conducted a rescue operation and rushed the injured to a nearby hospital. Six critically injured persons were referred to a bigger hospital for advanced medical care. The accident took place around 5 a.m
A 250 member group of pilgrims, mostly from Bareilly (UP) and its neighbouring areas, were walking to the Purnagiri hill temple. Nine persons were killed on the spot while two died during treatment. The deceased are Makkhan (12), Rajkumar (16), Dendayal (35), Babu (12), Kesar Singh (16), Veer Singh (18), Sonu (16), Vishal (17), Sohan Lal (40), Ramswaroop (45) and Kamal (25).
It is alleged that the dumper was engaged in illegal sand mining and was rushing to a river bank to collect sand. Nine devotees suffered serious and ten others minor injuries in the accident.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has expressed grief over the deaths. He also wished speedy recovery to those injured in the accident.
The CM has given instructions to the Champawat District Magistrate to ensure the injured get adequate treatment. As per information received from the Emergency Resource Response Centre, Dehradun, the seriously injured people are being provided medical treatment at Combined Hospital, Khatima, while the rest are undergoing treatment at Combined Hospital, Tanakpur.