By Alok Nath, ReutersThe death toll in India’s worst road accident in over a decade has risen to 44 and is on the rise, with at least two more people injured, the latest sign of the nation’s worst ever traffic crisis.
The toll from Thursday’s crash on the Ganga, a sacred river in the country’s southern state of Bihar, has risen by a total of 45, said state transport minister P.C. Chatterjee, adding that two more were in critical condition.
He said at least one person had died at the spot and that another person had been injured in a separate incident on the highway.
He said the toll would climb again on Friday.
The Bihar state government has blamed the “road hazard” on the drivers’ inability to make due use of the lanes.
The ministry said earlier on Thursday that two trucks carrying about 200 passengers had stopped at a junction on the way to Jharkhand’s city of Kolkata when the brakes on one of them suddenly stopped.
The vehicles were heading to meet a bus and the passengers had to jump off the vehicle, the ministry said.
It said the drivers had been asked to stop the truck by police officers and that no one was injured.
The government said on Thursday night that it was investigating the accident.
It was not immediately clear if the vehicles involved were carrying passengers or not.
(Reporting by Alok Naidu; Editing by James Dalgleish)