In a major accident, at least 18 people were killed and several others injured on a state highway at Haskhali in West Bengal's Nadia district on Sunday.
According to the police, the incident happened around 3 a.m. when an overcrowded matador carrying a dead body lost control and hit a stone-chip loaded truck standing by the side of the road.
"The matador with a dead-body carrying at least 30 passengers was going towards Nabadwip when it lost control and hit the truck standing by the side of the road. So far we came to know that the body was coming from Bagda in North 24 Parganas district and was going to the crematorium," a senior police officer said.
"According to initial reports, 11 persons died on the spot and nine others were rushed to the district hospital at Shaktinagar where another seven persons succumbed to the injury. Two people were transferred to NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, their condition is reported to be critical," the officer added.
The local people rushed to the spot and informed the police. Police came and sent the injured to the hospital. "We have started an investigation but are not sure whether the driver of the matador is alive or not," the officer added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar condoled the deaths.
Shah took to his Twitter and said, "The road accident that took place in Nadia district of West Bengal is very sad. My condolences to the people who lost their lives in this accident. God help them in this difficult situation. I wish the injured a speedy recovery."
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said in his tweet, "Deeply pained at reported death of 18 people and 5 others injured in Nadia District after the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck parked on the side of road. Expect all efforts @MamataOfficial to the family of deceased and injured. Need to promote Road Safety."