Lakhimpur Kheri: Ten people were killed and 41 others injured in a head-on collision between a private bus and a mini-truck here on Wednesday.
The Lakhimpur Kheri chief medical officer (CMO) said 12 of the injured are critical and have been sent to a trauma centre in Lucknow while 29 are undergoing treatment at the district hospital.
The accident took place on the Aira bridge on the National Highway 730, around 30 kilometres from the district headquarters, DSP Pritam Pal Singh said.
The bus was on its way to Lucknow from Dhaurhara and collided with the mini-truck coming from the opposite direction.
Eight of the dead were identified as Saraswati Prasad Verma (94) of Lucknow, Kaushal Kishore (58), Azimun (55), Sagir (45), Surendra Kumar Chaurasiya (35), Jitendra (25), Munnu Mishra (16) and Arya Nigam (8), all residents of Dhaurahra tehsil.
The identity of the remaining two is yet to be disclosed by officials.
Man Singh (42) a resident of Laharpur town in Sitapur district said he is lucky to have survived the tragic accident with minor injuries.
Singh said around 7.30 am the speeding truck came from the opposite direction and the bus driver attempted to prevent the collision and took a sharp turn. However, the truck driver also turned his vehicle in the same direction due to which the accident took place, he said.
Dilip (35), who had his hand fractured in the accident, said there was no traffic on the bridge when the accident took place.
"Passengers were talking to one another when all of a sudden, we felt a jerk and were thrown out of our seats. I heard people crying with pain shortly after. After seeing bodies of passengers scattered on the road, I thanked my stars," he said.
Lucknow Divisional Commissioner Roshan Jacob, Lakhimpur Kheri District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh, and SP Sanjiv Suman visited the hospital where the injured are getting treatment.
In a video which is doing rounds on social media, teary-eyed Jacob is seen enquiring about the health of one of the injured passengers in the hospital while directing officials to ensure his complete treatment.
President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath expressed grief over the incident.
"Deeply saddened by the news of the death of many people in a road accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the accident and the injured a speedy recovery," a message on the official Twitter handle of the President said.
In a condolence message, Prime Minister Modi said, "Distressed by the accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Rs 2 Lakh from the PMNRF will be given to the next of kin of each dead. The injured will be given Rs 50,000."
According to a spokesperson of the state government, the chief minister extended his condolences to the bereaved families while wishing peace to the departed souls.
Orders have been issued to carry out relief work on a war footing, the spokesman added.