Barabanki: Eighteen labourers were crushed to death after a truck rammed into a double-decker bus on the Lucknow-Ayodhya National Highway under the Ram Sanehighat police circle in Barabanki. The deceased were sleeping on the roadside when the accident took place. Nineteen people have been seriously injured and have been referred to the Trauma Centre in Lucknow. The accident took place in the wee hours of Wednesday.Also Read - WATCH: Video Captures Scary Moment Carnival Ride Spins Out of Control, Onlookers Help Avert Major Accident

“A truck rammed into a bus near Ram Sanehi Ghat in Barabanki, late last night. About 18 casualties with many passengers sustaining injuries;19 hospitalized. Rescue operation to recover the dead bodies stuck under the bus is underway,” Satya Narayan Sabat, ADG Lucknow Zone, confirmed.

The bus– going from Punjab to Bihar– was halted following an axle breakdown.

Due to heavy rains and poor visibility, a truck coming from Lucknow at a high speed hit the bus. The collision was so strong that most of them died on the spot.

Most of the bus passengers had got down from the bus and were sleeping on the roadside when the accident took place.

After the accident, the national highway was jammed for five kilometres and officials rushed to the spot to rescue the victims and also clear the highway.

Among the deceased, Suresh Yadav, Indal Mahto, Sikandar Mukhiya, Monu Sahni, Jagdish Sahni, Jai Bahadur Sahni, Baijnath Ram, and Balram have been identified so far.

PM Announces Ex-gratia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the tragic accident in Barabanki. Meanwhile, the injured would be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO said in a statement.