A farm tractor trolley carrying Hindu pilgrims has overturned and fallen into a pond in Ghatampur in northern India’s Kanpur city, killing 26 people, most of them women and children, officials said on Sunday.
Superintendent of Police Tej Swaroop Singh of Kanpur said the wagon was carrying about 40 people returning from a ceremony at a nearby Hindu temple on Saturday night. He said most of the deaths were due to drowning.
At least 10 people were injured in the accident in Kanpur, about 100km (60 miles) southwest of Uttar Pradesh state’s capital, Lucknow. The injured have been taken to hospital.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences.
“Distressed by the tractor-trolley mishap took place in Kanpur. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones and prayers with the injured,” Modi tweeted.
It is the second incident in the last week in Uttar Pradesh – a tractor carrying people overturned on Monday, killing at least 10 people.
Uttar Pradesh’s top elected official Yogi Adityanath discouraged the use of farm tractors for passenger transport.
“A tractor-trolley should be used for agricultural work and to transfer goods, not to ferry people,” he said in a statement.
Traffic accidents are frequent in India with more than 150,000 people killed last year, or more than 400 per day, according to official statistics which are likely an underestimate.