Two deadly road accidents in Himachal Pradesh killed at least 30 people and injured 24 others, police said yesterday.
An overcrowded jeep fell into a gorge 1,000ft-deep early yesterday, killing 13 people in Kinnaur district, police said, about 200km east of state capital Shimla.
“Thirteen people have died and one is injured. Ten of them were from one village,” Surinder Mohan, a local police officer, said of the accident.
It followed a separate tragedy late Friday when a passenger minibus bus swerved off a hilly road into a gorge, killing 17 and injuring 23 in the state’s Chamba district.
“Seven people died on the spot and the rest died on their way to and in the hospital. Many are critically injured,” Ajay Parashar, a police officer said.
In another accident in Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, six people were killed when their jeep collided with a truck while returning from Ujjain’s Simhasta Kumbh Mela yesterday.
Nine were injured in the accident that occurred near Kulhari village on the Agra-Mumbai National Highway.
About 350 people die every day on India’s roads - more than any other country - with those under 18 and two-wheeler riders most vulnerable, according to various data.
An Airbus A-320 carries roughly 180 passengers, so the daily death toll on India’s roads is almost double that figure.
“If (two) planes full of people crashed every day, wouldn’t the situation get more attention,” asked Piyush Tiwari, founder and president of Save LIFE, an advocacy that has used Right-To-Information queries to collect traffic-death data.
Indians under 18 years constitute 11.93 % of traffic fatalities, according to a 2014 Save LIFE RTI query.
The toll primarily stems from rash driving, below-global-standards roads and a shunning of safety - either deliberately or through ignorance.
In February Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told parliament that 130,000 people die in 500,000 accidents on Indian roads.
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