Five persons, including a child and two women, died on the spot and five suffered grievous injuries when a van they were travelling in collided with a goods lorry near Ainapur village on Gulbarga Road on Sunday.

According to the police, the victims from Basavanagar in Gulbarga were on a pilgrimage to Savadatti Yellamma temple in Belgaum district when the accident took place at 4.30 a.m.

The dead were identified as Shantakumar (4), Ratan Kumar (18), Sidram Banpatti, (40), Putalibai (42) and Parvati (40). The injured are Nagaraj Solanke (16), Mahadevi Banpatti (40), Renuka Banpatti (20), Sharanu Banpatti (45) and the driver of the vehicle, Anand Jamadar (25).

While the bodies were shifted to Al-Ameen Medical College and Hospital for autopsy, the injured were taken to the government hospital for medical treatment.

Superintendent of Police Ajay Hilori, who visited the spot, said that soon after the accident, Fire and Emergency Services personnel were deployed to douse the fire and rescue the victims.

He said that preliminary reports suggested that the van driver could have dozed off when he hit the lorry. This, he said, was confirmed by the lorry driver.

“Though the lorry driver tried avoiding the van by steering the lorry onto a muddy road, the van hit the lorry. The location of the accident confirms this,” Mr. Hilori said.

He said that the rural police have registered a case. The bodies were handed over to the relatives after autopsy.

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