At least 26 pilgrims, most of them women and children, were killed and more than 20 severely injured when a tractor trolley overturned and fell into a pond in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district on Saturday, officials said.
The tractor, with 50 people on board, was returning from Chandrika Devi temple in Unnao when the tragedy struck near Ghatampur area in Kanpur.
The injured were moved to a local hospital and the police and locals were involved in rescue operations. In horrific scenes, people with bare hands were seen retrieving bodies from the pond.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families who have lost a member in the accident. The injured will be given a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 each.
Distressed by the tractor-trolley mishap in Kanpur. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. Prayers with the injured. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 1, 2022
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too mourned the loss of lives and sent senior ministers Rakesh Sachan and Ajit Pal to the site to oversee the relief-and-rescue measures.
Soon after the incident, he also appealed to people to not use a tractor-trolley for transport. A tractor-trolley should be used for agricultural work and to transfer goods, he stressed. He is personally monitoring the rescue operation, a government spokesperson said in Lucknow.