Dharwad, Jan 15: At least 11 people, mostly women, were killed after a minibus in which they were travelling met with an accident in Dharwad district of Karnataka on Friday morning.
A group of 16 women from Davangere, who were members of the Ladies Club, were travelling to Goa for a vacation, when the incident occurred.
The Dharwad Rural Police said that the women had decided to visit the residence of their friend in Dharwad for breakfast and had decided to take a detour.
The minibus was crossing the Hubbali-Dharwad bypass, when it collided into the tipper truck which was coming from opposite direction as there was not enough room on the road to maneuver, Dharwad Sub-urban Police Inspector Yaligar said.
Among the deceased include Preethi Ravikumar, the daughter-in-law of a former BJP MLA from Davangere’s Jagalur, Guru Siddanagouda. The other victims are Asha, Meerabai, Paranjyoti, Rajeshwari, Shakuntala, Usha, Veda, Veena, Manjula, Nirmala, Rajaneesh and Swati.
The injured were shifted to KIMS Hospital and several of them were said to be critical.
The 32-km Hubballi-Dharwad bypass is a single lane located along NH 48 between Bengaluru and Pune. Inspector Yaligar said that the residents of Dharwad had been complaining of the bypass being dangerous as the stretch is narrow and that it was not being used as a one-way.
He said that the road widening work had been delayed for the last few months due to differences between the contractors and the government. “An accident case has been registered. We are still investigating the case,” he added.
Superintendent of Police Krishna Kant supervised the rescue and relief operation. Police have also registered a case at Dharwad rural police station.
In a tweet, PM Narendra Modi said he is saddened by the loss of lives in the road mishap.
"Saddened by the loss of lives due to a road accident in Karnataka's Dharwad district. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray for a quick recovery of those injured," PM Modi tweeted.