"The accident occurred around 5:30 a.m. when the mini-truck overturned after its driver lost control and hit a roadside kerb at a junction on the state highway," Belgaum Superintendent of Police Chandra Gupta told IANS. Belgaum is about 500 km from Bangalore.
The victims include nine women and five children.
"Of the about 35 people on board the ill-fated goods vehicle, 12 were injured and have been admitted to a local hospital for treatment at Murgod," Gupta said. Murgod is 5km from the accident spot at Halki cross and 30 km from Belgaum.
The victims were going to Saundatti, a border town in the northwest region from Surpur in Yadgir district in northeast of the state, about 540 km from Bangalore.
"The elderly victims were labourers who were on way to work in agriculture fields to harvest crops on daily wages. They were travelling in a transport vehicle (which is)illegal as they can't afford to pay for the costly bus tariff," Gupta said.
Police registered a case against the driver and the vehicle's owner under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rash and negligent driving resulting in deaths.
"The driver was drowsy and was driving fast when the vehicle hit the kerb and skidded off the road before overturning on the wayside," one of the victims, who survived with injuries, told police.
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