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20 killed in India as truck loses control, plows into crowd

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
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At least 20 people have been killed and several others seriously injured after a truck driver lost control and plowed into a group of protesting farmers in southern India Friday, officials said.

At least 14 of those killed were electrocuted because the bus first hit an electricity pole causing high-tension wires to fall onto the crowd, police official Jaya Lakshmi said.

"The driver of the lorry was drunk - he drove in a rash manner and hit an electrical pole just next to the police station," Lakshmi told Reuters by telephone.

There was no indication that the deaths of the farmers who had gathered on the road outside the police station was anything but an accident, she said. "There is no terror link. It is a pure accident case. He is a local driver."The local government has ordered an investigation.

Eyewitnesses on local TV described heart-rending scenes and mangled bodies as the bus first hit a car and the electricity pole before crashing into the crowd.

The farmers were gathered outside the main police station in the town of Yerpedu protesting against illegal sand mining in their area.

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