Lucknow, May 18: Nine pilgrims headed to ‘punyagiri or the mountain of good deeds, were mowed down by a speeding mini-truck in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly district on Friday, police said. The deceased were part of a group of 250, who were walking barefoot towards the Maa Purnagiri shrine, which is located close to the Nepal border when the incident occurred. The mini-truck coming from Sitarganj and headed to Tanakpur ran over 30 pilgrims near the sales tax office, an official informed. Many of the bodies were strewn in pieces all over the road.
At least 21 others have been admitted to various nearby medical facilities, where the condition of five is stated to be critical. The Army is also aiding in the rescue and relief operations along with the district authorities. The injured, who sustained minor injuries have been sent to their homes in state roadways buses. All nine deceased have been identified. The family members have been informed of the tragedy. The Maa Purnagiri temple is located on the top of a mountain above 3,000 metres from sea level in Uttarakhand's Tanakpur.