As many as 27 people, mostly women and children, were killed and 22 others injured after a tractor trolley carrying Hindu devotees veered off the road and plunged into a pond in India's Uttar Pradesh state on Saturday night.
The accident occurred near Ghatampur village of Kanpur district, some 100 kms from the northern state capital Lucknow, when 50 Hindu devotees were returning home from a pilgrimage, police said.
"The ill-fated tractor trolley fell into the pond after its driver lost control of the vehicle. Some 27 bodies have been fished out of the pond. The injured have been hospitalised. The condition of some is critical," a senior police officer told the local media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media to offer his condolences to the families of the deceased as well as the injured and announce compensation for the accident victims.
"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," the PM's office tweeted.
"A probe has also been ordered into the accident though it's now clear that the tractor trolley was overloaded," the police officer said.
Road accidents are common in India, with one taking place every four minutes. These accidents are often blamed on poor roads, rash driving and scant regard for traffic laws.
The Indian government's implementation of stricter traffic laws in recent years has failed to rein in accidents, which claim over 100,000 lives every year.