A parked bus rolled into a group of migrant workers sleeping by a roadside in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after being hit by a speeding truck from behind early on Wednesday, killing 18 people on the spot.
The accident occurred in the state's Barabanki district, some 28 kms from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
Police said that the migrant workers returning to their home state of Bihar in eastern India on the bus started sleeping in front of the vehicle after it suddenly broke down on a busy highway late on Tuesday night. The victims were coming from the neighbouring northern state of Haryana.
"The truck crashed into the parked bus at a high speed after its driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake a car on the highway. The impact was such that the bus rolled on and ran over the victims sleeping in front of the vehicle," Satya Narayan Sabat, a police officer, told the local media.
"Three-four other migrant workers who sustained injuries in the accident have been admitted to a local hospital," Sabat said.
Though the truck driver managed to escape soon after the accident, cops claimed to have seized the vehicle as well as the ill-fated bus. "A probe has been ordered and a manhunt launched to track the truck driver down," the police officer said.
Road accidents are very common in India, with one taking place every four minutes. These accidents are often blamed on poor roads, rash driving and scant regard for traffic laws.
Indian government's implementation of stricter traffic laws in recent years have failed to rein in accidents, which claim over 100,000 lives every year.