Out-of-control truck kills 15 on Indian roadside

Ahmedabad (India) (AFP) –

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An out-of-control dumper truck crushed fifteen people to death as they slept by the roadside early Tuesday in western India, authorities said.

The dead included a baby girl, eight women and six men, said police official Usha Rada in the Suraj district of Gujarat state. Six others were injured.

The truck collided with a tractor carrying sugarcane just after midnight at a crossroads.

"The dumper driver... lost control of the vehicle and went off the road, crushing labourers sleeping on the roadside," deputy police superintendent C M Jadeja said.

Police said that the drivers of both the dumper truck and the tractor have been arrested.

High-speed vehicles jostling with motorbikes, pedestrians and cyclists combine with poor infrastructure and poorly maintained vehicles to make India's roads treacherous.

In 2019 more than 150,000 people died -- 410 every day or 17 an hour -- in almost half a million accidents, according to the government.

On Monday, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Road Safety Month, saying that the government aimed to halve road deaths and accidents by 2025.