At least 12 pilgrims, five of them women, were killed and 22 others injured when a speeding container ran over them on the New Delhi-Kolkata National Highway in Bihar's Aurangabad district early today.
The heavy vehicle lost control and ran over the devotees sleeping by the side of the road, Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma said.
After running over the victims, it hit a parked bus in which some other devotees were resting, the SP said, adding 12 devotees in all were killed in the mishap.
The pilgrims were resting after returning from Deogarh temple in Jharkhand.
The mishap took place under Muffasil police station area, 10 kilometres from Aurangabad town and about 160 kilometres from capital Patna.
The injured have been admitted to Sadar Hospital here with some of the seriously injured rushed to Magadh Medical College and Hospital in Gaya.
The victims were returning home to Dehri sub-division of Rohtas district from Deogarh after offering prayers to Lord Shiva when the tragedy took place.
Former Independent MLA of Dehri, Pradeep Joshi organises trips to Deogarh for devotees every year during the month of 'Shravan'.
His wife Rashmi Jyoti is the current Independent MLA from there.