A roadside assistance worker tows away the mangled remains of a double-decker passenger bus that collided with a milk truck, near Unnao, in northern India state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

LUCKNOW, India — A collision between a double-decker passenger bus and a milk truck in northern India on Wednesday resulted in at least 18 fatalities and numerous injuries, officials reported.

The accident occurred on an expressway in Uttar Pradesh state. Nineteen individuals who sustained injuries were transported to the hospital by local villagers, said police officer Arvind Kumar, adding that their condition was considered stable. The bus was en route from the northern state of Bihar to the capital New Delhi.

“Authorities are in the process of identifying the deceased, and an investigation has been initiated to ascertain the precise cause of the accident,” Kumar added.

Gaurang Rathi, a government official, stated that an initial investigation suggests the bus may have been exceeding the speed limit when it struck the milk truck from behind, causing both vehicles to overturn. The collision was of such severity that one side of the bus was completely torn off, leading to passengers being ejected from the vehicle. Television footage depicted bodies scattered across the roadway.

India holds one of the highest road fatality rates globally, with hundreds of thousands of individuals killed and injured annually. The majority of accidents are attributed to reckless driving, inadequate road maintenance, and aging vehicles.

In May, a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims veered off the road and plunged into a deep gorge on a mountainous highway in Indian-controlled Kashmir, leading to the deaths of at least 21 individuals.