At least 17 people were killed when a truck carrying churchgoers rammed into a concrete barricade along a road in Meghalaya's West Khasi Hills district on Sunday.
Around 62 people have been critically injured in this accident.
According to the police, the overcrowded truck with over 70 people travelling in it was proceedings towards Nonglang village to attend the synod of Presbyterian Church.
"The final count of bodies from the accident site at Jadohkroh village and those who succumbed to injuries in hospital is 17 and those critically injured is 62," Sylvester Nongtnger, district police chief of West Khasi Hills, said.
"People on board the truck belonged to Nginiong, Nongbudon and Mawbyrkong villages and were on their way to the Nonglang Synod of Presbyterian church," he added.
Sylvester Nongtnger further said that the toll could increase as most of the injured were in critical condition
According to Nongtnger, preliminary investigations indicated that the accident occurred due to over-speeding, which led to the truck ramming against the concrete barricade -- and hurling the occupants of the carrier into the gorge along the road.
"We have registered a case against the driver under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Motor Vehicles Act," the police official said.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives in the accident, state Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh promised action against those involved as per provisions of the law.
(With agency inputs)