Eight persons including five children were killed and 23 injured on Saturday when a pick-up van carrying labourers from Madhya Pradesh fell off a bridge in north Maharashtra's Dhule district, police said.
The incident took place on Chalisagaon-Dhule highway near Vichur village around 12.30 am when the van driver lost control of the vehicle in an attempt to avoid a pothole while crossing a bridge on the Bori river, an official said.
The vehicle hit parapet of the bridge, broke it and plunged into the river around 40 to 50 feet below, he said.
As the van hit rocky riverbed, seven of the passengers died on the spot, while one woman died during treatment. The deceased included three labourers -- two women and one man.
The van was carrying 31 passengers. Twenty-three of them sustained injuries.
All of them were admitted to Hiray Medical College in Dhule, the police official said, adding that condition of five of them was serious.
The deceased were identified as Ritesh Ledaram Arya (6 months), Jinyabai Ambu Pavra (13 years), Miyali Ledaram Arya (23 years), Ravina Ledaram Arya (5 years), Karan Sevasingh Barela (3 years), Haramsingh Sevasingh Barela (5 years), Lalsingh Ambu Pavra (20 years) and Guddibai Barela (30 years), all residents of Dhaulyagiri, taluka Sendhwa, district Barwani, Madhya Pradesh.
The victims were on their way to Osmanabad in Maharashtra to work at sugarcane factory to manufacture jaggery, the official said.
After the accident, villagers from nearby area informed the police who rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation, he said.
The driver of the van, identified as Sagar Bharat Tambade, resident of Osmanabad, and his two helpers were absconding.
A case of accident was registered with Dhule taluka police.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)